World number 43 Jelena Ostapenko will take on Japan’s Nao Hibino, who is ranked 84th in the world in the quarterfinal of the Strasbourg Open 2020 on Thursday, September 24. The match timings will be announced soon. Get the live streaming options of this Jelena Ostapenko v Nao Hibino match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Jelena Ostapenko v Nao Hibino Head to Head
There have been two previous matches between Ostapenko and Hibino and the Latvian has won both of them. Both those matches came on hard court, with the first being a qualifier in Dubai in 2016 and the other being a second round match Seoul in 2017.
Ostapenko Aiming for Top Five
It has been a long time coming but Ostapenko finally managed to squeeze into the quarterfinal of a tournament – she had last done that around 11 months ago and that was the only one of three times she made the last-eight stage on the tour in 2019.
Ostapenko’s form has fallen apart so drastically since the 2017 French Open title triumph that our prediction for her second round match against Kiki Berten was a straight-set loss. Oops.
The world number 43 was at her fighting best and was leading the Dutchwoman 4-2 in the third set when Bertens retired from the encounter. And for a moment, it almost looked like we were going to be proved right, when Bertens led by a set and 4-2 in the second set.
Then came the fightback which saw Ostapenko calm herself down, win the next four games in a row to clinch the match-equalling set. And with some “smart” play, as she described herself, she raced off to a break of serve in the final set too before the walkover.
And following the match, Ostapenko laid down her plans.
“I always knew that I could be at that level [of 2017]. I’m getting slowly back there. I can get back to Top 5 and win another Slam, that’s what I’m working for just now.”
She faces an opponent who might not cause her as much grief on paper; it’s not often in the recent past she has begun as such an overwhelming favourite.
Hibino Looking to Add on to Hua Hin Show
A semifinalist earlier in the season at the Hua Hin Open, Japan’s Hibino now has a chance to make it there again and that comes courtesy of a straightforward victory over Kazakh Zarina Diyas. Hibino had her troubles in the opening set but came back strongly to register a 7-5, 6-3 win.
Hibino was broken in her very first service game, then broke her opponent twice to serve at 4-3 before getting another chance to serve it out at 6-5. After having won the set at that point, Hibino broke Diyas in the third game of the second set and held on to it till the ninth game when she repeated that as her opponent served to stay in the match.
In her first round encounter, Hibino had stunned Sloane Stephens in three sets and coming on the back on five successive defeats on both sides of the pandemic break, it would come as a huge relief for the Japanese to reach the last-eight.
Can she now push on further against a talented but inconsistent Ostapenko?
Ostapenko v Hibino Prediction & Tip
This has all the makings of an interesting clash but one in which the Latvian starts off as a favourite. Could see her win in three.
Tip: Ostapenko to win in three sets: 3/1 (bet365)