After rain disrupted play for over two days, a winner eventually emerged at the Prague Open on Monday afternoon. Japan’s Nao Hibino completed a successful week by clinching a 6-4, 6-1 win over Linda Noskova in the final.
Hibino needed 71 minutes to get the win. Earlier in the day, Hibino first stepped onto the court to finish her semi-final match against Jaqueline Cristian. The match that was played on Sunday had to be stopped multiple times as rain kept interfering with the proceedings.
Eventually, it had to be called off and rescheduled for Monday with Hibino leading 5-2 in the deciding set. Hibino and Cristian had split the first two sets, with the latter winning the second set 7-6(2) after Hibino won the first set, 6-4.
Hibino went on to secure a 6-4, 6-7(2), 6-3 win over the Romanian. Noskova, who was the fourth seed in her home tournament, posted a 6-1, 6-1 win over Tamara Korpatsch in their semi-final. The 18-year-old had needed just five minutes past an hour to see herself through to the final on Sunday.
Prague Open: Rain delay no problem for Nao Hibino
There was a brief rain delay on Monday itself with the Japanese leading in the second set, 4-1. But when play resumed, she didn’t take much time on-court as she finished the match by winning the next two games in a row.
The world no. 136 won 74% of her first-serve points to her opponent’s 61%. She also won 63% of her second-serve points and 66% of points on return on the latter’s second serve. She did lose her serve only once across the match, in the first set.
It was also the only break point she faced all throughout the proceedings. She, however, converted five of the seven break points that came her way on Noskova’s serve. The Prague Open title was Nao Hibino’s third WTA title.
It’s also the first title she’s won since winning the Japan Women’s Open four years ago, in 2019. Meanwhile, Linda Noskova’s had to go empty-handed from both finals she’s contested in her career so far.
The Czech was also denied a chance to become a home champion for the third consecutive year in the country capital. Barbora Krejcikova and Marie Bouzkova had won the titles here in 2021 and 2022, respectively. Photo Credit: Prague Open Twitter/ Pavel Lebeda
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