World number 72 Zarina Diyas will take on the 83rd-ranked Nao Hibino in the second round of the Strasbourg Open 2020 on Wednesday, September 23. The match is expected to begin at around 4 pm local time (3 pm BST). Get the live streaming options of this Zarina Diyas v Nao Hibino match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Zarina Diyas v Nao Hibino Head to Head
There have been four previous meetings between Diyas and Hibino before this and the head to head reads a nice 2-2. Two of these matches came on the ITF circuit, and the other two on WTA and it’s 1-1 in both.
Again, coincidentally, two of these matches came on grass and two on hard courts, and it’s 1-1 in both too!
This will be their first clay court meeting.
Diyas Struggling Since Pandemic Return
Before the two-time Strasbourg Open quarterfinalist came into this year’s tournament, Diyas was struggling to get going. Diyas opted to start her campaign at the Cincinnati Open qualifiers where she lost her opening round match to Ann Li.
A direct entry into the US Open was followed by a straight-set loss to Bernarda Pera in her opener. This was on hard court surfaces which is Diyas’ favourite surface, and that came to the fore when she shifted to clay courts after Flushing Meadows.
And things became more difficult. The confidence had been hit from those previous two losses and it was followed by two more defeats – in the opening round of Istanbul Open and the qualifying round at Rome – leaving her with a four-match losing streak.
It was in her first match, the first round here in Strasbourg Diyas finally managed to notch up a victory – a hard-fought but rather sweet, 6-7, 7-5, 7-6 win over Christina McHale. Can she make it two in two?
Hibino’s Resumption Not too Different
Much like their head to head is conspicuous by its stark similarities, their resumption following the pandemic break has been on similar lines. Hibino has struggled to notch up a win and her first victory came after three successive defeats.
It was in the first round here in Strasbourg, Hibino managed to overcome Sloane Stephens, a former French Open finalist, in three sets, to set up a second round meeting with Diyas.
Earlier this season, Hibino had lost in the opening qualifier of the Italian Open and Cincinnati Open while making the main draw of the US Open based on the ranking but going down to Garbine Muguruza in a fighting two-setter.
Diyas will prove to be a stiff opposition but one the Japanese knows she can overcome to move into her first quarterfinal since the Hua Hin Open earlier this year.
Diyas v Hibino Prediction & Tip
Diyas starts off an overwhelming favourite, 4/9, but it could go down to a decider given their history and the fact both have been modest clay-court players.
Tip: Three sets in the match: 6/4 (bet365)