Nao Hibino of Japan will take on Russia’s Liudmila Samsonova in the first round of the 2021 Charleston Open on Tuesday, April 6. Get the live streaming options of this Nao Hibino v Liudmila Samsonova match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Nao Hibino v Liudmila Samsonova Head to Head
Hibino defeated Samsonova in their only meeting in Vancouver in 2019, winning the Round of 32 contest 7-5, 6-1.
Hibino on Five-Match Losing Streak
World No. 86, Japan’s Nao Hibino comes to Charleston on the back of five consecutive defeats.
The 26-year-old, who stunned Elina Svitolina in Hua Hin last year to record her first top 10 win, began her 2021 season at the Australian Open and entered the second round of the tournament for the second consecutive year by beating Astra Sharma in a dramatic three-setter. Kristina Mladenovic stopped her from advancing further with a straight sets defeat in the Round of 64.
The Melbourne exit was followed by four first-round losses. Hibino retired against Varavara Lepchenko in the first round of the Phillip Island Trophy, while trailing the American 3-6, 0-3.
In Guadalajara, it was Slovakia’s Anna Karolina Schmiedlova who beat the Japanese right-hander in straight sets.
She was in with a chance of ending the string of losses in Monterrey, where playing as the ninth seed she took the first set against Jasmine Paolini in the first round, but the Italian came back in the contest to hand Hibino a fourth defeat in a row.
The Japanese player may have hoped for a change in fortune in Miami, but it was not to be, as Mexican qualifier Renata Zarazua knocked her out in a three-set first round contest.
Hibino, who has played in five WTA finals, won the Tashkent Open title in 2015 and the Japan Women’s Open in 2019. The former World No. 56, reached two semifinals (in Hua Hin and Strasbourg) in 2020.
Samsonova Coming Off a Decent Miami Showing
Facing Hibino in the first round will be Russia’s Liudmila Samsonova, who comes into the tournament having delivered the biggest performance of her career so far at the Miami Open.
The 22-year-old, who has won four of 11 ITF finals, qualified for the main draw in Miami by beating Romania’s Monica Niculescu and Russia’s Varvara Gracheva and then earned her first win at a WTA 1000 event by knocking out Italy’s Camila Giorgi with a 6-2, 6-4 win in the first round. She had an even bigger scalp in the next round, handing World No. 11 Kiki Bertens a 6-2, 6-1 rout to enter the Round of 32. Samsonova was, however, outplayed by Greece’s Maria Sakkari in the third round, losing the match 0-6, 1-6.
The World No. 110 had earlier entered the main draw of the Australian Open by winning all three of her qualifiers, two of which were close three set affairs. In the main draw, she rallied from a set down to defeat Spain’s Paula Badosa 6-7 (4-7), 7-6 (7-4), 7-5 and reach the second round of a Grand Slam for the first time in her career. Her run ended in the Round of 64 after she went down to Garbine Muguruza in straight sets.
Samsonova, who lost to Bulgaria’s Tsvetana Pironkova in the first round of the Yarra Valley Classic, played two more closely contested three-setters, losing to Spain’s Sara Sorribes Tormo 7-6 (8-6), 1-6, 6-7 (4-7) in the first round of the Phillip Island Trophy, and to Croatia’s Petra Martic 6-4, 0-6, 5-7 in the Round of 32 of the Adelaide International, where she was playing as a qualifier.
Nao Hibino v Liudmila Samsonova Prediction and Tip
Hibino is more experienced and the higher-ranked player in this contest but she is not in best for forms. In contrast, Samsonova has shown constant improvement and is playing pretty well. Going by current forms, the Russian will hold the edge.
Tip: Ludmilla to win: 5/6 (bet365)