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Tuesday, Oct 15, 2019

Doi, Hibino set up rare all-Japanese final in Hiroshima

Doi and Hibino are also in Sunday’s doubles final where they face Russian Valeria Savinykh and American Christina McHale.

tennis Updated: Sep 15, 2019 09:18 IST
Reuters
Reuters
Reuters
File image of Misaki Doi
File image of Misaki Doi (AP)
         

Japan’s Misaki Doi upset Russian second seed Veronika Kudermetova 6-4 6-3 on Saturday to set up a final with compatriot and doubles partner Nao Hibino at the Hana-cupid Japan Women’s Open in Hiroshima. It will be the first all-Japanese WTA Tour final in 22 years after Naoko Sawamatsu beat Yuka Yoshida in Jakarta in 1997.

Doi and Hibino are also in Sunday’s doubles final where they face Russian Valeria Savinykh and American Christina McHale.

Although Kudermetova fired down nine aces, Doi kept up with the powerful Russian, who is ranked 59 places higher at world number 48, and broke three times in the 82-minute contest.

Doi broke early in the second set to take a 3-0 lead and although Kudermetova broke back to make it 3-2, the Japanese reclaimed a break advantage before serving out for the match.

In the day’s earlier semi-final, Hibino recovered from a set down to beat Romanian Mihaela Buzarnescu 4-6 6-0 6-3.

Hibino, ranked 146 in the world, was broken twice in the opening set to hand Buzarnescu the advantage but stormed back in the second with nine winners.

Buzarnescu strguggled on serve and faced 14 break points, with the 24-year-old Hibino converting six to move into the final after two hours and 10 minutes.

Doi and Hibino have beaten each other twice in their careers and both are seeking their second career WTA singles title.

First Published: Sep 15, 2019 09:18 IST

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