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Nao Hibino upsets defending champ in Prague

Aug 31, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA;  Nao Hibino of Japan in action against Fiona Ferro of France in a first round match on day two of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Japan’s Nao Hibino upset No. 2 seed and defending champion Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic, rallying for a 3-6, 7-6 (5), 6-3 second-round win on Thursday at the Prague Open.

Ranked No. 251 in the world, Hibino saved 15 of 22 break points and converted six of her 12 break chances against the home favorite. Krejcikova held 3-1 and 5-3 leads in the second set before letting the match slip away.

Hibino’s quarterfinal opponent will be Czech 17-year-old Linda Noskova, who outlasted No. 5 seed Alize Cornet of France 7-5, 1-6, 7-6 (7). No. 1 seed Anett Kontaveit of Estonia eliminated another Czech teen with a 6-4, 6-3 defeat of 17-year-old Lucie Havlickova. Kontaveit next faces No. 7 Anastasia Potapova of Russia, a 6-4, 7-6 (8) winner over China’s Lin Zhu.

Poland Open

Top-seeded Iga Swiatek of Poland ran her clay-court winning streak to 18 matches with a 6-3, 6-2 defeat of Romania’s Gabriela Lee in second-round action in Warsaw.

Swiatek, who has not lost on the surface since the 2021 French Open quarterfinals, fired 25 winners compared to just three for her opponent. She will face No. 5 seed Caroline Garcia in the quarterfinals after the Frenchwoman’s 6-3, 5-7 defeat of Italy’s Elisabetta Cocciaretto.

No. 8 Petra Martic of Croatia had to work for a 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 win against Poland’s Maja Chwalinska. No. 10 Jasmine Paolini of Italy held off France’s Clara Burel 6-1, 6-7 (1), 6-0. Switzerland’s Viktorija Golubic rallied for a 6-7 (4), 6-2, 6-1 defeat of France’s Kristina Mladenovic. Ukraine’s Kateryna Baindl advanced when Italy’s Sara Errani was forced to retire trailing 6-2, 3-0.

–Field Level Media