Taking part in it were about 100 professionals from 30 counties. Russia had the largest number of participants; there were six Russians in the list of major participants. There were also representatives from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Switzerland, Belarus, Spain, Serbia, Italy, France and other countries, who had more than once visited the capital of Uzbekistan. The list of the top five best competitors, according to the global ranking, included Irzhi Vesely (Czech Republic), Jeremy Chardy (France), Rikardas Berankis (Lithuania), Russians Yevgeny Donskoi and Konstantin Kravchuk.
Apart from that, nine of our young compatriots were included into the qualifications, although none of them broke through to the main draw, which definitely upset our fans.
All hope was pinned on our strongest tennis players.
Sanjar Fayziyev went farther than any of our athletes in the competition, and he lost in the semifinals; Denis Istomin played in the singles’ and doubles’ finals.
The first racket of Uzbekistan became the vice-champion of the “Challenger”, losing in the final Konstantin Kravchuk of Russia in two batches - 5:7 and 4:6. The bout lasted for 1 hour and 26 minutes. Denis was bad in first innings; he performed only one ace in the match. But his opponent made five aces without committing errors when submitting. There is now a balance in the players’ personal meetings’ record - 2:2. The title, won by Kravchuk in Tashkent Challenger, became his second one in the season and brought him $18 thousand in prize money and 125 ranking points.
The organizers were forced to make the hour and a half break before the decisive match in the doubles. This was due to the fact that Denis had to go out to the court for the third time during the day. Along with Michael Elgin of Russia he played against the international duo - Andre Begemann (Germany) and Leander Paes (India), who is considered a legend in the world of tennis doubles - he has 12 wins in the Grand Slam tournaments. One can only admire Denis’ physical potential.
Together with Michael, they beat the opponents 6:4, 6:2.