World No. 47, and number four seed, Magda Linette of Poland, will take on Nao Hibino of Japan, the world number 84, in the first round of the 2021 Strasbourg Open on Monday, May 24. Get the live streaming options of this Magda Linette v Nao Hibino match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Magda Linette v Nao Hibino Head to Head
The pair have played seven times before, and Hino leads their head-to-head series by four matches to three. However, all but one of those matches was on hard courts, and the other was on grass, and they have never played on clay before.
Linette Overshadowed by Swiatek
Linette was the Polish number one for several years, but since the French Open last October, her achievements have been overlooked because of the exploits of the teenager, who is the bookmakers’ favourite to retain her crown in Paris.
The 29-year old though is twice a senior WTA title winner in her own right, although both of her successes and all four of her finals have been on hard courts, most recently the Hua Hin Championships in Thailand in 2020 just before lockdown, when she beat Leonie Kung of Switzerland in the final.
She is less assured on clay, as evidenced by her record at the French Open, where her best is a third round appearance in 2017.
Certainly her 2021 record on clay is poor, having played four matches on the surface and lost all of them. That sequence included both tournaments in Charleston and the Madrid Open.
Most recently she was beaten in the first round of the Rome Open by Petra Kvitova, although she did take the world number 12 to three sets.
Hibino, Semi-Finalist in Strasbourg Last Year
Like Linette, Hibino is more at home on a hard court. She has been in five finals, all of her favourite surface and won two of them, the Tashkent Open in 205, and the Japanese Open in front of her home fand in 2019, beating compatriot Misaki Doi in the final.
At that staged she was ranked inside the top 60 in the world, but her franking has drifted since then.
Hibino’s record in Pars is even worse than Linette’s – she has only ever won one match there and that was last year when she beat the Ukrainian Marta Kostyuk in the first round.
However, she as god memories of Strasbourg – when this tournament was played here last September, she reached the semi-finals before losing to Elena Rybakina.
This year her best result on clay came in Charleston, where she got to the third round before losing to Ons Jabeur.
Since then though she lost in the first round in Istanbul and failed to qualify for Madrid, and Rome.
Her last tournament was in Parma where she suffered a surprise first round defeat to the Italian qualifier, Martina Di Giuseppe.
Magda Linette v Nao Hibino Prediction and Tip
Although Hibino has the better head-to-head record, that can be discounted because they have never played on clay before.
However, the Japanese woman is in marginally better form and she proved last year how much she enjoys playing in this tournament. That may give her the slight edge.