September 29, 2018 TASHKENT, Uzbekistan - Margarita Gasparyan of outplayed qualifier Anastasia Potapova 6-2,6-1 in all Russian Contest to win the singles at the 20th Tashkent Open WTA Championships being played at the Olympic Tennis Complex here.
Gasparyan ranked 299 won the title to become the second lowest ranked WTA champion after Angelique Widjaja, who was World No.579 when she won Bali in 2001. Having begun the year unranked, the 24-year-old is guaranteed to return to the Top 200 for the first time since January 2017 next week.
The championship match between Anastasia Potapova and Margarita Gasparyan was also the first all-Russian WTA final since Elena Vesnina beat Svetlana Kuznetsova at Indian Wells 2017, the 29th all-Russian final overall and the second in Tashkent following Alla Kudryavtseva’s defeat of Vesnina in 2010.
Gasparyan took just over a hour to stop the 17 year old Potapova 6-2,6-1 in a one sided final , the shortest in the 20year old history of Tashkent Open. Gasparyan started spiritedly breaking Potopova in the very first game , then broke her in the third and hold on serve to go up 4-0 , finally Potpova held her game in the 5th to open her account but that was not enough as Gasparayan raced to a 6-2 win.
In the second set the story continued Potapova was broken in the 1st and the 3rd game , but when she held her serve in the fifth game to get the score to 4-1 , there was cheer from a fairly Large number of tennis fans gathered to watch the two Russians in action, but that was not enough to keep the young Potpova from getting any more games .
Potapova Looked visibly tired from hard week of tennis , reaching the finals from the Qualifiers seemed to taken its toll on the 17 year old who had Some poor shot selections and a error ridden game mixed with some solid hitting by Gasparyan
In the sixth game and the final game of the match three errors , a double fault on match point from Potapova and two backhand winners by Gasparyan saw the 299 ranked Russian raise her hands to celebrate her win and the first title after 2 years
Gasparayan also avenged her defeat at hands of Potapova in the pair’s only previous meeting, in the first round of the ITF $100,000 event in Khimki this May . Potapova and Gasparyan were also doubles partners this week, reaching the semifinals in their first event together before falling in a match tiebreak to No.1 seeds Irina-Camelia Begu and Raluca Olaru.
Gasparyan the 2015 Baku champion, out of tennis after three knee surgeries kept her out of action between Wimbledon 2016 and Moscow 2017 told the Tashkent Media team in a interview " I’m Proud of myself and the win has come at a perfect time for me , I can’t believe that I have won.".
When I entered the event I wanted to just play a tournament , didn’t think I will win the title Goal as to play a lot of matches , didn’t expect would go far here".
For me this a special win as I will now have more chances to play on the bigger events Australia , bigger matches , I’m close but far , if I play good for the next few weeks " said an elated Gasparayan
Speaking on her fitness , " I’m stronger than before my I have worked very hard on my fitness . On the match she said " I didn’t expect to win easily , it’s not easy to play against a friend but I was prepared .
For Potapova it was the second final of the year after the Moscow River Cup , but the 17 year was unfazed by her defeat , speaking to the Tashkent Media Team she said " It’s been a amazing week for me , importantly I got to play many matches and I feel more confident . I have had a busy week playing singles and doubles and really feel tired .
"On making it to the top 100 for the first time in her career she said , it feel nice but I have to keep improving and that’s my goal rankling will follow ", words of wisdom from a 17!year old
The winner Margarita Gasparayan got $43000 and 280 WTA points , while the Runners-up will Anastasia Potapova received $21400 and 180 WTA points. The win ensured Gasparayan move into 170 in WTA rankings.The trophies were given away at the hands of Shukurov Elbek Deputy Mayor of Tashkent city , Tournament Supervisor Cristina Romerio and Tournament Director Valera Lim.