When autumn comes, I bloom anew; The frost does wonders for my health; Anew I fall in love with life's routine: Betimes I'm soothed by dreams, betimes by hunger caught; The blood flows free and easy in my heart, Abrim with passion; once again, I'm happy, young - Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin the famous Russian Poet
It's the time of the year when the markets are over laden with unique vegetables and fruits, and other agricultural products which are abundant gifts of nature to Uzbekistan , it also marks the gathering of cotton (white gold)
The warmth of the people , the gift of nature , and beautiful weather also marks the advent of the prominent sporting events in Central Asia the Tashkent Open
The premier international event of the Young and Vibrant Republic turns a sweet 18 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 September24- October 1 .
One of the most popular events on the WTA calender , the Tashkent Open has not only opened a floodgate of opportunities for young tennis stars on the world horizon , but it has also sent back players with loads of love and pleasant memories of the extraordinary Uzbek Hospitality .Anastasia Myskina , Dinara Safina , Maria Kirlenko Mikhila Krajicek , Sabine Lisicki , Marion Bartoli , Bojana Jovanovski , Karin Knapp and current title holder Nao Hibino who all won the Tashkent Open have leaped to the next level in their careers
“ I'm happy that players love coming back to the Tashkent Open , we have been consistently improving the event and the prize money and the player facilities and the results are showing " 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 " he adds.
In the 2015 edition unknown Japanese Nao Hibino outplayed fancied Croatian Dona Vekic to secure her first ever WTA tour event capturing the propelling her to 74 in the world a jump of 43 places . " From then on it has been upward journey for Hibino who also made it to the Olympics at Rio".
It was second time unlucky for upcoming Tennis star Donna Vekic of Croatia who lost in the finals in 2012 and 2015, " Hopefully I will come back to Tashkent and ensure I will be third time lucky " , said Vekic
The formidable challenge thrown by country's young stars Sabina Sharapova and Nigina Abduraimova in the last couple of years and their exploits across the globe also caught the notice of the tennis world . A number of talented Uzbek girls aspiring to be stars in their own right is also on the rise.
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 , Akgul Amanmuradova was unfortunate not to pocket the title inspite of reaching the finals twice in 2005 and 2009. A win by a Uzbek player in 2016 will be an icing on the cake for thousands of tennis fans in Uzbekistan .
The memories of their stay , the unparalleled hospitality and the abundance of love offered by fans to Hundreds of women tennis players who have played over the last 17 years in the beautiful and historical city of Tashkent goes on to ensure Tashkent Open remains one the most loved event on the WTA tour.
Date of Birth: 26 DEC 1997
Birthplace: Postojna, Slovenia
Height: 5’ 5" (1.68 m)
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