Pliskova ends Hibino hopes of successive Taskhent titles


Kristyna Pliskova overcame Nao Hibino in the Tashkent Open final on Saturday to earn her maiden top-tier title on the WTA Tour.

Pliskova won the 125k event in Dalian in September thanks to a good deal of fortune - she was 5-2 30-0 down in the final set against Misa Eguchi when her opponent was forced to retire hurt with a knee injury.

But there could be no doubting the merit of this triumph as Pliskova ousted the defending champion 6-2 2-6 6-3.

Hibino had routed Donna Vekic 6-2 6-2 in last year's final, but she found Saturday's opponent a much sterner prospect.

A pair of breaks put Pliskova on her way to claiming the first set, but Hibino hit back in the second, reeling off five successive games from 2-1 down.

Pliskova broke for a 4-2 lead in the decider and after fending off a break point at 5-3, a crushing cross-court forehand sealed her triumph.