Nao Hibino of Japan, seeded six, will play the qualifier Leonie Kung of Switzerland in the semi-final of the WTA Hua Hin Championship on Saturday, February 15. The match is scheduled for 6.15 pm local time (11.15 am BST) and you can find the Nao Hibino v Leonie Kung live streaming options along with its preview, head to head and tips here.
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Nao Hibino v Leonie Kung Head to Head
The pair have never met before. This will be the first match between the Japanese player, who is 25 years old, and the Swiss woman, six years younger than her.
Hibino Knocked Out Top Seed Svitolina
Hibino, the world number 84, came into this event never having beaten an opponent in the top ten before. However, she put that particular record straight with a convincing win over the top seed Elina Svitolina in their quarter-final on Friday.
After the match went with serve in the first set, Hibino gained an advantage when a series of errors from the Ukrainian’s racquet handed her a service break. It was surrendered back almost immediately, but Hibino broke again, and then consolidated to take the set.
She then broke the Svitolina serve early in the second set, and then accelerated away to win the match in an hour and eight minutes.
It means that she has got to the semi-finals without having dropped a set, after battling past Arina Rodionova of Australia in the first round, and then crushing Peangtarn Plipuech in the second, allowing the Thai to win just one game.
Dream Run for Teenage Qualifier Kung
Kung is playing in the main draw of a senior WTA event for just the second time and already she has reached a semi-final.
The 19 year old, and world 283, had to overcome two rounds of qualifying just to enter the headline event in Hua Hin, where she beat the local player Patcharin Cheapchandej in straight sets in the first round, And then in the second, she heat a player in the top 100 for the first time, defeating the Chinese player Lin Zhu for the loss of just four games.
She then faced another Chinese player, Wang Qiang, the number three seed, in blustery weather conditions on Friday in the quarter-finals. It was a match of fluctuating fortunes which ebbed first one way and then the other, with Kung taking the first set, and Qiang fighting back to level. In the decisive set both players had trouble holding their serve but, in the end, Kung was able to out-last her opponent, winning in 2 hours and 18 minutes.
Nao Hibino v Leonie Kung Predictions & Tips
Hibino will start the clear favourite against the teenage qualifier who has no previous experience at this level at all. That makes her a dangerous opponent because she holds no fear and has nothing to lose, but the Japanese should prevail.
Tip: Hibino to win in straight sets: 8/11 (Click here to get these odds with Unibet)