No. 12 seed Nao Hibino of Japan will take on unseeded American Catherine McNally in the second round of the 2021 Nottingham Open on Wednesday, June 9. Get the live streaming options of this Nao Hibino v Catherine McNally match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Nao Hibino v Catherine McNally Head to Head
This will be the first match between World No. 82 Hibino and McNally, ranked 110th in the world.
Hibino Looking For Consistency
Japan’s Nao Hibino claimed her second career title in 2019, reached two semifinals last year, but has been very inconsistent this year. Although the Japanese player reached the second rounds of both the majors – a decent achievement – overall she has struggled to win matches and comes to Nottingham with a 5-13 record across competitions.
The 26-year-old, who won her maiden title in Tashkent in 2015, had captured the Japan Open title in 2019 and made stunning runs to semifinals in Hua Hin and Strasbourg last year.
The run in Hua Hin also included her first top 10 win as she defeated then-No. 4 Elina Svitolina in the quarterfinals before falling to Leonie Kung in a three-set semifinal. She was even better in Strasbourg as she beat three higher ranked players in Sloane Stephens, Zarina Diyas and Jelena Ostapenko before falling to Elena Rybakina in the semifinals.
This year, however, Hibino has struggled for consistency. Her best showing came at the WTA 250 in Charleston, where she reached the quarterfinals, before falling to Ons Jabeur. She got lucky in the first round of that tournament against Misaki Doi, who made a remarkable recovery in the match, but was forced to retire with cramps when the score was 7-5, 5-7, 6-6 after over three hours.
In other significant performances this year, Hibino won her first round matches at the Australian Open and the French Open for the second consecutive year. She defeated Australia’a Astra Sharma in Melbourne before falling to Kristina Mladenovic. While at Roland Garros, she started with an opening-round win over Nina Stojanovic but lost to Elena Rybakina in the next round.
However, there have been far fewer wins for the World No. 82 this year, as she made eight first-round exits and struggled to go past the qualifiers in Madrid and Rome, winning the first round but losing the second in both the tournaments.
McNally Knocks Out Raina
America’s Catherine McNally began her Nottingham Open campaign with an opening-round win over India’s Ankita Raina on Monday.
In a one-hour-and-40-minute match, McNally converted four of six break points and saved five of six to dispatch the Indian qualifier 6-4, 6-3.
Ranked 110 in the world, McNally had to pull out of her French Open qualifier against Liang En-Shuo due to a calf injury. But she looked to have recovered from that injury as she moved to the Round of 32 in Nottingham.
A solid doubles player, the 19-year-old McNally has already won four doubles titles, including two this year.
When it comes to singles, some of her significant performances this year include a quarterfinal appearance in Guadalajara, where she defeated Katie Volleynets and Tamara Zidansek in the first two rounds, but lost to Eugenie Bouchard in the last eight. She also reached the Round of 16 at the Volvo Car Open, beating Elena Rybakina, who retired after losing the first set, in the first round and Anastasija Sevastova in the second before falling to Paula Badosa.
McNally’s best showing at a major came last year, when she reached the third round at the U.S. Open by beating Viktoria Kuzmova and Ekaterina Alexandrova but fell to Elise Mertens in the Round of 32.
Hibino v McNally Prediction and Tip
Hibino has struggled for form and consistency, while McNally has produced more wins this year (across levels), and against good players as well. She was off to a good start on Monday and will fancy her chances against the seeded Japanese.