WTA roundup: Nao Hibino upsets Linda Noskova for Prague title

WTA roundup: Nao Hibino upsets Linda Noskova for Prague title

Nao Hibino of Japan ended a four-year title drought by defeating Linda Noskova in the Livesport Prague Open in the Czech Republic. Hibino, 28, won the match against Noskova in 71 minutes after completing a rain-delayed semifinal win over Jaqueline Cristian. Hibino converted five of seven break points against Noskova, who initially took a 3-0 lead in the opening set but lost 12 of the next 14 games. This victory marks Hibino’s third title, with previous wins at Hiroshima in 2019 and Tashkent in 2015.

In another match, Venus Williams put up a strong fight against Madison Keys but ultimately lost 6-2, 7-5 in an all-American, first-round match in Montreal. Keys dominated the opening set and needed nine match points to secure the win. She finished with five aces and saved three of four break points. Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic also had an impressive victory, defeating Lin Zhu of China 6-3, 6-7 (8), 6-2. Pliskova, the runner-up in Montreal in 2021, recorded 11 aces in the two-hour, 22-minute match. She will face Polish No. 1 seed Iga Swiatek in the next round.

Pliskova acknowledged the challenge of playing against Swiatek, stating the need to find the right balance between playing aggressively and taking risks without going overboard. Other winners on Monday included Katie Boulter from Great Britain, Belinda Bencic of Switzerland, Sorana Cirstea from Romania, Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, Jamine Paolini from Italy, Marie Bouzkova of the Czech Republic, and Americans Sloane Stephens and Jennifer Brady.

–Field Level Media

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