By Tashkent Open 2015Media Team.
Tashkent , October 3 : Japanese Nao Hibino outplayed Croatian Dona Vekic to win her first WTA tour event capturing the title at the 17th edition of the Tashkent Open which concluded at the Olympic Tennis School complex here.
In the finals which lasted 1 hr and 11 minute 20 year old Unknown 117 ranked Nao Hibino from Nagoya in Japan played solid tennis to end the superlative run of 2012 finalist 19 year old Donna Vekic of Croatia winning 6-2,6-2.
Hibino who reached the first ever WTA tour Final played high percentage tennis keeping the games short and tight , the Japanese broke Vekic in the every first game of the opening set and once again in the 7th game . Hibino served out to win the opening set in just 38 minutes. Vekic could manage only 28 points in the first set
The second set started similarly with Vekic being broken in the very first game , Hibino played smart tennis and kept the points short to further frustrate Vekic who was looking for an opening to come back. Hibino who gave away just 20 points in the second set and broke Vekic once again in the 5th game . In the 8th and final game Hibino held on to her serve just losing a point and wrapping up an easy win. Vekic served poorly in the entire match serving as many as 9 double faults
Hibino received the top prize money of $43000 and most importantly 280 WTA ranking points which will take her to around 74 in the world from current ranking of 117 a jump of 43 places.
I didn't expect this result at the beginning of the week ," I can't believe it , I felt oh my god, I won", I also had won against Vekic in Vancouver before so had a fair idea of her game, I never expected this result " said Hibino who didn't drop a set in the tournament. .
I didn't expect final to be so easy , I was focused on my service game during all my matches so could have opportunity to break my opponents serve , even today I focused on my serve , played aggressive , no change in my game from first round to here , she added
Asked about her toughest match in the tournament Hibino said my match against Kozlova was the toughest this week . My target was to get into top 100 at the end of summer but now I'll move to being 70 so will have to change targets", she added
Hibino also Thanked her coach Eiji Takeuchi whom she has been working for the last 3 years . Asked what was her ranking in Japan Hibino said 4 before the tournament and now probably No1, hopefully now People in Japan will know me she said jokingly.
Nao who was named by her mother after famous Japanese tennis player Naoko Sawamatsu has a elder brother whom his mother named after Famous Japanese player Shuzo Matsuka , My family is tennis crazy said Hibino who started playing tennis since she was 10 year old. A graduate from college the 20 year adores , Kimiko Date Krum. and has two dogs Louis and Coco with whom she likes to spend her spare time .
Speaking after the match , Donna lauded her opponent Hibino and said " I could do nothing much, she played really good tennis. She was very Solid , getting all balls back ,she played a very good match. I Tried to break her rhythm but was unsuccessful".
I was tired and carrying a few injuries this week , Am disappointed losing the finals , didn't play as Good as I wanted , but overall it was a good week for me. Hopefully I can come back to Tashkent , I'm sure I will be third time lucky , said Vekic who also fell in the finals here in 2012.
Russian pair of Margarita Gasparyan and Alexandra Panova scored 6-1,3-6,10-3 win over Russian - Czech pair of Vera Dushevina and Katerina Siniakova to lift the women's doubles finals . The Prizes were given away at the hands of Tournament Director S. Uthrapathy and WTA Supervisor Martina Lutkova
Following are the results
Nao Hibino ( Jpn) bt Donna Vekic (Cro) 6-2,6-2
Margarita Gasparyan /Alexandra Panova ( Rus) bt Vera Dushevina (Rus)/ Katerina Siniakova(Cze) 6-1 ,3-6 , 10-3
Date of Birth: 10 May 1993
Height: 5’10” (1.79 m)
WTA Singles Ranking –51 (As of August 14, 2017)
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