Schmiedlova ousts former Tashkent champion Hibino
The Tashkent Open will crown a new champion this weekend after Nao Hibino, the only former winner left in the singles draw, was beaten 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 by Anna Karolina Schmiedlova.
Hibino was one of three former winners in Uzbekistan, but she followed Irina-Camelia Begu and Bojana Jovanovski Petrovic out of the tournament.
Begu and Jovanovski Petrovic both departed in round one and Hibino could only go one stage further as her dreams of replicating her 2015 win came crashing down.
Sixth seed Schmiedlova edged ahead after a topsy-turvy opener, the Slovakian taking the tie-break 7-5, before going on to wrap up a victory that sets up a clash with Kateryna Kozlova in the quarter-finals.
Schmiedlova is one of only three seeds left in the draw after Evgeniya Rodina and Tatjana Maria also suffered second-round exits, losing in three sets to Mona Barthel and Margarita Gasparyan respectively.
Second seed Vera Lapko had no such problems against Ivana Jorovic, though, while Dalila Jakupovic saw off Arantxa Rus 6-1 7-6 (8-6).
Wednesday also saw victories for Anastasia Potapova, Fanny Stollar and Kozlova – who beat Fiona Ferro after knocking out Begu in round one.