The WTA Future Stars event is held yearly in conjunction with the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global. As part of the program, top U14 and U16 female tennis players from Asia-Pacific are provided valuable experiences and exclusive insight into the world of professional women’s tennis.
With the conclusion of the Junior Race to Singapore in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Farida Marimova and Setora Normurodova have qualified for the WTA Future Stars event in the U14 and U16 categories respectively.
As a three-time U14 National Junior Champion, Farida Marimova was the favourite to win the WTA Future Stars qualifying event. Aspiring to become a player on the WTA tour, she sees this event as a stepping stone and huge learning opportunity.
“I’m going to gain invaluable match experience during the event, this will only help me improve and become a stronger tennis player,” she told the WTA Finals team confidently.
To complement her ambitious goals, Marimova is focused on keeping the passion for tennis alive. She says that she still feels a surge of happiness and excitement every time she steps onto a court.
“My favourite sound is that characteristic ‘pop!’ that you get when you hit the ball against the racquet at the sweet spot,” Marimova tried to explain in between her giggles. “Every time I hit a shot and hear that sound, I feel so positive!”
When asked which WTA player she hopes will qualify for the WTA Finals in Singapore, she named Jelena Ostapenko without hesitation.
“She’s such an aggressive player and hits so many winners. She’s also young, talented and hardworking,” Farida explained. “I hope that I can learn to hit a forehand as penetrative as hers.”
“The players from Uzbekistan have always done well at the WTA Future Stars event. I’m so honoured that I get this chance to represent my country and give it my all during the event,” Setora Normurodova told the WTA Finals team.
On court, Normurodova is a crafty, left-handed player. She loves dictating the pace of the point, switching it up by using an array of trick shots to her advantage. As a result, many of her peers during the qualifiers were not able to keep up with her.
When Normurodova’s parents first introduced her to tennis at five years-old, their main intention was for their daughter to have regular exercise so that she could be fit and healthy. Little did they expect that their daughter would excel at this sport, rising the ranks to become the Asian Tennis Federation (ATF) U14 No.1 player in 2016 and even win her very first International Tennis Federation (ITF) junior title in July this year.
Normurodova is thankful for the opportunity to play the sport and acknowledges that lessons learnt from tennis have a reach far beyond the court.
“Tennis has greatly improved my leadership ability. The sport taught me how to make critical decisions in a split second and to stick by my choices. It has given me more confidence to lead my friends and peers,” she told the WTA Finals team.
Both girls have said that in the lead up to the WTA Future Stars event in October, they will be focused on preparing themselves both mentally and physically for the challenging matches ahead.
The WTA Finals Team would like to congratulate Marimova and Normurodova for qualifying for the WTA Future Stars event this October and wish them both the very best of luck in their training in the coming weeks.
The WTA Future Stars event is held in conjunction with the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global. Catch the WTA Future Stars U14 and U16 Finals on 21 October before the opening ceremony of WTA Finals for free. Click here to get your tickets to the WTA Finals.