Doi, Hibino set up rare all-Japanese WTA final
HIROSHIMA, Japan (AP) — Misaki Doi upset second-seeded Veronika Kudermetova 6-4, 6-3 Saturday to set up a rare all-Japanese final at the Japan Women’s Open.
Nao Hibino moved into her fifth career WTA singles final after rallying to beat Mihaela Buzarnescu 4-6, 6-0, 6-3 in the other semifinal.
It’s the first all-Japanese singles final on the WTA tour since 1997, when Naoko Sawamatsu defeated Yuka Yoshida in Jakarta.
Both Doi and Hibino are seeking their second WTA singles titles — Doi won at Luxembourg in October 2015, and Hibino won in Tashkent the same month.
Doi and Hibino are currently even in their head-to-head record with two wins apiece.
The two Japanese players have also teamed up to reach the doubles final at the Japan Women’s Open, and will play Christina McHale and Valeria Savinykh.