Nao problem as Hibino reaches second Tashkent final
Kristyna Pliskova stands between Nao Hibino and a second consecutive WTA Tashkent Open title after the pair reached Saturday's final.
Last year, Hibino defeated Donna Vekic in straight sets for her first - and, to date, only - Tour crown.
The Japanese, seeded fourth for this International hard-court event, had few problems in overcoming Denisa Allertova 6-2 6-3, recording four breaks of serve to secure victory in a little over an hour.
Her reward for that success was a showdown with Pliskova, who reached her first top-tier Tour final by overcoming Kateryna Kozlova 7-6 (7-2) 6-0.
The opener was a hard-fought affair, Pliskova recovering from 5-2 down to force a tie-break, which she won with ease. The second set proved one-sided, the Czech reeling off six straight games in 26 minutes to advance to her date with the defending champion.