Doi, Hibino set up rare
all-Japanese final in Hiroshima
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[September 14, 2019]
(Reuters) - 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
[to top of second column]
Misaki Doi of Japan serves against Madison Keys of the United States
(not pictured) in the first round on day one of the 2019 U.S. Open
tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Buzarnescu struggled 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.
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris)
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