Tashkent Open is Sweet 17

25 September 2015

One of the prominent sporting events in Central Asia the Tashkent Open turns 17 this year , the event which has thrown new stars on the world tennis  stage  will be played at the Olympic Tennis Complex at Tashkent  from September28- October 3 .

In the last 17 years Tashkent Open has set up a record of sorts    throwing up talented  tennis youngsters  into tennis stardom Anastasia Myskina ,   Dinara Safina , Maria Kirlenko   Mikhila Krajicek ,  Sabine Lisicki , Marion Bartoli,         Bojana Jovanovski and current title holder Karin Knapp  have become household names on the world stage after their varied  performances at the Tashkent Open .

The struggle, the challenges and the talent of  these players  have been applauded  and appreciated by  the Uzbek Tennis fans  even before they became    stars  and household names across the globe  , players have also taken back loads of love and pleasant  memories of the extraordinary Uzbek Hospitality .

“"I'm  happy that   champions are coming back to the Tashkent Open  , we have been consistently improving the event and the prize money and the players  facilities and the results are showing. There are five ex winners and  four finalists of previous years who are back .   The return of Five champions   Shahar Peer , Alla Kudryavtseva , Irina Camelia Begu , Ksenia Pervak and Bojana Jovanovski goes on to  prove  that players want to come back to Tashkent  says Igor Shepelov the  General Secretary of the Uzbek Tennis Federation .

“We are  glad that Tashkent open has made a contribution to women's tennis,  and impacted the careers of so many young players,  Tashkent Open is one of the events that has given wings and aspirations to unknown tennis players across the world and  a dream  to  fly high "   aptly  sums up   tournament director S. Uthrapathy.

Says former French open Champion Iva  Majoli of Serbia  who travelled to Tashkent accompanying her talented ward Donna Vekic "   I'm very impressed with the tournament , it is run professionally and it has been pleasure to be here . It is the first time that I have come to Uzbekistan and really happy that the tournament is gaining ground with every passing year  .

Tennis is truly becoming world sport , in our times it was dominated by Europe , USA , there were not many Asian players , only a few Japanese players  but I realize  tennis is moving big time  into Asia    

Uzbekistan continues to be dominant player in Asian Tennis circles not only in terms of  a strong tennis circuit , but also having produced tennis players of world repute ,   Uzbek star Iroda Tulyaganova won the title in 2000 and finished runners-up in 2006 , Olympian Akgul Amanmuradova was unfortunate not to pocket the title inspite of reaching the finals twice in 2005 and 2009.

The formidable challenge thrown by country's  young stars Sabina Sharapova and Nigina Abduraimova in the last couple of years has also got noticed by the world of tennis .  Number of  talented   Uzbek girls aspiring to be stars in their own right   is also on the rise.  

The 27 year old  Karen Knapp who appeared in her second career final and first since she lost to Justine Henin at Antwerp six year ago, broke her jinx finally to claim the crown and top prize of $43000    apart from  280 WTA points,  

"It's a great place not because  I won , I have entered the event thrice before so it truly means I like the event.  I will treasure my memory of a win here ",  Said Karen after her win last year

The 16th  edition which showcased participants from over 20 countries , saw    Knapp down top seed and title holder  Bojana Jovanovski of Serbia , Knapp not only broke Bojana's heart but kept  intact   the tradition of Tashkent Open of  throwing up new champions  and dethroning  the old .