Tennis players of Turkmenistan scored a historic victory over Uzbekistan at the Central Asian Championship (U-12)
Tennis players of Turkmenistan scored a historic victory over Uzbekistan at the Central Asian Championship (U-12)
Published 08.06.2023

Tennis players from Turkmenistan have defeated Uzbek team for the first time in history at the Asian Championship for boys and girls under 12 years old, which is ongoing in Ashgabat.

For many years, the national team of Uzbekistan has been considered an insurmountable rival for Turkmen tennis players. No matter what tournaments of different ages these teams would meet, the Uzbek team always took the lead. And now this sad tradition for Turkmen tennis has been broken by three young athletes, who are not yet 12 years old. Ashgabat residents Suleyman Hudayberdyev, Nazargeldy Amangeldyev and a pupil of the Turkmenabat tennis school Ali Geldyev were the heroes of the fourth game day at the tournament held in the Olympic Village.

In the first singles match, Ali Geldyev crushed Artem Dogovorov, giving him only one game in two sets – 6:1, 6:0. In the second "singles", the first number of our national team Suleyman Hudayberdyev, who trains at the "Olymp" tennis club in the capital, also confidently prevailed over Islomjon Tursonov – 6:1.6:2, providing the team with an early victory.

Having got the desired result in singles matches, Yuri Rogussky, the first rocket of the country, the captain of the Turkmen men's national team at the Central Asian Championship (U-12), made a substitution in the doubles game. He gave a chance to Nazargeldy Amangeldyev, a student of the Ashgabat Tennis Academy, to prove himself in a duet with Ali Geldyev.

In the first set, the Uzbek pair of Kamranbek Tokhirov and Artem Dogovorov led 2-0. However, then our guys changed the course of the game, took six games in a row and brought the set to victory - 6:2.

In the opening of the second set, Turkmen team stunned their opponents, leading 3-0. However, then they relaxed a bit, allowing the duo from Uzbekistan to equalize the match - 3:3. Our boys kept dominating after that as they didn't let the Uzbeks play a single match point and won the second set 6-4.

Having defeated the Uzbek team with a total score 3-0, the young athletes of Turkmenistan have moved up to second place in the standings, and now for the first time they have a chance to win silver medals at the Central Asian Championship. To do this, it will be enough for Turkmen tennis players to defeat the Tajik team on the final day of the tournament.

After the victorious and historic match, the heroes of today were in great demand among the correspondents of television and the press.

Ali Geldyev has been playing tennis since the age of 6 under the guidance of Babamurat Mamatrasulov, the coach of the 9th sports school of Turkmenabat. After a hard game, Ali was noticeably tired, yet could not hide his joy:

- I admit that I was very worried about the result. I didn't want to lose in front of my fans. I was very happy when I won the singles. We relaxed a little bit in the doubles game. But we still managed to pull ourselves together at the crucial moment and bring the match to victory.

As Ali Geldyev admitted, he was seriously preparing for this tournament. He took second place at the qualifying competition in Ashgabat. It allowed him to get into the national team of Turkmenistan, in the membership of which he passed the final stage of preparation for the current tournament in Tashkent.

– We have been preparing very seriously at these training camps, and it helped us to win an important victory today, – Ali Geldyev continued. – I am very grateful to my first coach Babamurat Mamatrasulov and the mentors of our national team at the tournament – Mirali Gasanov and Yuri Rogussky.

Suleyman Hudayberdyev, the first number of our junior team, has been practicing tennis since the age of 6. He started to play with coach Evgeny Molchanov. Currently, he trains with Gurbanberdy Gurbanberdyev at the 11th Sports School of the Ashgabat Main Department of Physical Culture and Sports.

- Today's game was the best in my career," Suleyman Hudayberdyev shared his emotions. - Winning the first set gave me more confidence in the game and helped me to achieve the desired result. Many thanks to the beloved President of Turkmenistan and Hero-Arkadag, thanks to whose efforts we have the opportunity to train on the excellent courts.

Another tennis player of our junior team, Nazargeldy Amangeldyev, started to practice tennis at the age of 7 with Atlymurat Kurbanov. Then he was trained by Gurbanberdy Gurbanberdyev until the age of 10. Currently, he improves his skills with Yuri Rogussky at the tennis academy "Ashgabat".

– I felt great excitement for the result and was very worried when, the opponents equalized the score in the doubles game, because of my mistake - said Nazargeldy Amangeldyev. – I really wanted to please my fans, who strongly supported us. Thanks to them. After today's game, I feel great joy from the victory and at the same time great responsibility before tomorrow's game with the Tajik team.

– After a sensitive defeat the day before from the team of Kazakhstan – 0:3, it was necessary to psychologically prepare the guys for the match with Uzbekistan," Yuri Rogussky, the mentor of the men's national team of Turkmenistan at the Central Asian Championship (U–12) summed up the victorious game. – And I am very glad that the guys were able to properly tune in to the most important game and achieve a historic victory.

According to Y.Rogussky, and he has been engaged in tennis for more than 20 years, previously there were only isolated victories for Turkmen tennis players over rivals from Uzbekistan in singles. This was the case when Yuri Rogussky won against Sergey Fomin at the IV Islamic Solidarity Games in Baku in 2017, and when Imran Akhundov beat his Uzbek counterpart at the Central Asian Championship (U-12) in 2019. But until now, it was not possible to beat the team of Uzbekistan in the team competition.

According to the mentor of the Turkmen U-12 junior team, today's success of our guys is the logical result of focused work on development of tennis in the country.

"We are very grateful to President Serdar Berdimuhamedov and the National Leader of the Turkmen people Hero-Arkadag, for the excellent conditions in which we can now prepare for competitions and hold major international tournaments at a high level," said Yuri Rogussky.

As for our women's team, today it lost to rivals from Uzbekistan – 0:3 and now on the last game day at the tournament it will compete with representatives of Tajikistan for bronze medals, which are also claimed by the tennis players of Kyrgyzstan. And the gold medals in the girls' competition will be played in a face-to-face meeting between the teams of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

Turkmenistan is hosting a regional tournament held under the auspices of the International (ITF) and Asian (ATF) Tennis Federations for the second time. Four years ago, our boys' and girls' teams took third place at the same Central Asian Championship in Ashgabat.

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