For the third successive year Uzbekistan claimed the challenge trophy at the ITF Central Asia 13 & under Development Championships which were hosted by the Kyrgyzstan Tennis Federation (TFKR) in Bishkek on 27 September-6 October.
A total of 33 players and coaches from the Central Asian countries of Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan participated in the two four-day tournaments and one-day training camp, which were held at the Academy of Tennis, a facility constructed by the TFKR to develop players.
Kazakstan’s Rodion Pak mounted a strong challenge and proved that he was a cut above the rest of the field by dominating the boys’ event and winning all four titles. Rodion defeated Sergey Fomin, of Uzbekistan, in both singles finals with scores of 76 62 the first week and 76(1) 64 in the second tournament. He then partnered Andrey Kaschenko, of Turkmenistan, to take the boys’ doubles titles beating the Uzbek pairings of Marsel Redjepov and Timur Sottimov 63 62 and Sottimov and Fomin 62 61 in the finals of the first and second events respectively. Impressive performances were also put in by 11-year-old home player, Kiril Kistanov, who was a semifinalist of both singles tournaments.
On the girls’ side, Kyrgyzstan’s Eliza Askarova lifted the singles title at the first tournament defeating No. 1 seed Gulsina Khalimullina, of Uzbekistan, 75 64 in the finals but it was Gulsina who got the better of Eliza the following week beating her with the same score in the final.
The Kyrgyzstan combination of Ermeka Nurgazieva and Eliza Askarova were the girls’ doubles champions with victories over Darya Detkovskaya and Zhamila Taiteli, of Kazakhstan, in both finals with scores of 63 36 10-5 and 63 62 respectively. The 12-year-old Ermeka showed that she is a player to watch out for in the future.
It was a close race to claim the country ranking title. Only 190 points separated the top three teams but Uzbekistan just managed to edge out Kyrgyzstan to win the top spot and retain the trophy for the third time.
TFKR President, Mr Marat Tenizbaev, was delighted that the ITF had once again given his Federation the opportunity to host this important event and he was very pleased with the performance of the Kyrgyzstan players who had managed to outperform some of the strongest players in the region.
Based on the final rankings from the two events, players from Central Asia will be selected to be on the ITF team that participates in Division 1 of the ITF Asia 14 & under Development Championships in 2014.