Tashkent , September 22 : One of the most popular events on the
Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Tour the Tashkent Open will be
celebrating 20 glorious years of tennis. The event which has put many
young stars in the world tennis orbit also enjoys a distinction of being
probably the only WTA event in the world where no champion has been
able to win the title twice.
As every year the ex champions come back with the expectations to break the Jinx but none has succeeded . This year the event sees the return of three ex champions Irina Camelia Begu (2012), and Bojana Jovanovski ( 2013) and Nao Hibino(2015) who made it to the main draw by whisker
In the twentieth year too Avid tennis watchers , experts and fans across the globe fans will be kept guessing and await the final results next Saturday , Players from 16 countries will showcase their skills and fighting abilities to make the most of points which will help them to strengthen their foothold in the world of women’s professional tennis at the beginning of the next year giving them leverage to spend time of their fitness and training without the pressure of points .
Tennis fans in Tashkent sand across the globe will be happy to see among the entry list former world No 2 . Russian Vera Zvonareva who made it to the semifinals starting the event as an qualifier and former world No 5 Eugenie Bouchard of Canada former runners up at Wimbledon (2014) who might spoil the party for young tennis stars
The local flavour will be lead by Sabina Sharipova who has moved to around top 120 in the WTA rankings who finds a spot in the main draw on strength of her ranking , while other local Uzbek players have the opportunity to feature in the main draw via wild cards
Last year It was Ukrainian Kateryna Bondarenko who showed the will to win and as a reward for hard work reached the finals . Ranked 134th in the WTA ranking and Contrary to all predictions, she made a way to the finals. Many felt she was lucky but she went to prove that Luck Favors the Brave
On her way to the finals Kateryna outplayed Russian Anna Blinkova upset seventh seeded Nao Hibino and went on to surprise giant killer Kurumi Nara in close three sets in a battle of nerves . In the semifinals against former world No2 and qualifier Vera Zvonareva. , Kateryna won the first set and raced to a 4-1 lead as Zvonareva’s old injuries caught up with her and she conceded the match
On the other side of the draw second seeded Timea Babos who came up trumps’ won all four matches in two sets. Ranked 45th in the world rankings Babos was more energetic facing the experienced Kateryna looking forward for a well deserved title.
But the gritty and fighting Kateryna Bondarenko of Ukraine upset the second seeded Babos 6-4,6-4 in 1 hour and 26 minutes
The 19th edition was a wet one , with players and the organizers having to take breaks because of rain , but that failed to dampen the spirits of neither the players or the organizers who were prompt to ensure action returned to the courts.Coming into the 20th year the "Tashkent open" the organizers of the current tournament have done everything possible to make the 20th, anniversary of the event into an intriguing affair which will be remembered for a long time by tennis fans not only in Uzbekistan but across the Globe .