TASHKENT, September 24 : Qualifier and NextGen rising star Anastasia Potapova of Russia recorded the first upset of the event knocking out world ranked 73 and fourth seeded Stefanie Voegele of Switzerland in three tight sets , while Former champion Nao Hibino made a winning return to her happiest hunting ground to dismiss former world No 5 Eugenie Bouchard at the 20th Tashkent Open WTA Championships which got under way at the Olympic Tennis Complex here .
In the first round matches played today the 18 year old 2016 Wimbledon girls champion Potapova who made it from the qualifying rounds upset the fourth seeded Voegele 4-6,7-6(3),6-3 in a tight 2 hour 7 minute battle . Winner of the 2015 edition Hibino who returned in 2016 to reach the final, needed an hour and 28 minutes against former World no 5 Eugenie Bouchard, of to record the 6-3, 6-3 victory to start her 2018 Tashkent campaign.
Also into the second round, Fifth seeded German Tatjana Maria showed class breezing past Russian Natalia Vikhlyantseva 6/1 6/2 in just over an hour, while Fiona Ferro came back from a set down against Jana Fett to win 1-6, 7-6(4), 6-1. Russian Player and currently ranked 299 Margarita Gasparyan used her single handed backhand effectively to demolish 135 ranked and local star Sabina Sharipova 6-2,6-2 in 1 hour and 17 minutes ,
Sixth seeded Slovakian Anna Karolina Schmiedlova showed no mercy out classing Serbian Dejana Radanovic 6/3 6/0 , while eighth seeded Dalila Jakupovic went through some anxious moments before overcoming Russian Anna Blinkova 6-4,5-7,6-4 in 2 hours and 10 minutes . Qualifier . Fanny Stollar of Hungary carved out a credible win against higher ranked Japanese Kurumi Nara winning 6/3 3/6 6/4
In the first round matches played today the 18 year old and 2016 Wimbledon girls champion Potapova who made it from the qualifying rounds upset the fourth seeded Voegele 4-6,7-6(3),6-3 in a tight 2 hour 7 minute battle . Voegele was broken in the second game in the first set but recovered well to break back Potapova in the 7th and 9th games to win the first set 6-4.
The fourth seed Voegele was again broken in the second game of the second set by the 17 year old Potapova , but the 28 year old experienced Swiss player Voegele broke back Potapova in the 7th game to level scores forcing a tiebreaker , but the young Potapova mixed her shots effectively breaking the rhythm of Swiss player Voegele and winning the tiebreak to level sets .
In the third set Potapova was broken in the second game , and Voegele raced to a 3-0 lead , but the young Russian came back to claim 6 games in a row breaking the Swiss thrice in the 5th , 7th and the 9th games to move into the second round of the tournament.
In a match that evolved interest between Hibino and Bouchard , Hibino was able to meet Bouchard’s power blow-for-blow, and as a result, Hibino had Bouchard under pressure from the start. She raised her level to reel off four games in a row to lead a double break, 5-2. Despite getting one of the breaks back, Bouchard was not able to complete the turnaround as Hibino closed out the opening set. Hibino had to play catch-up in the second, quickly finding herself down a break as Bouchard zoomed ahead 2-0. She did not waste time leveling at 2-2, and was back in control to notch the decisive break at 5-3. An ace to finish sealed the match for Hibino after an hour and 28 minutes.
This is my Third meeting this year , I won all the three times, I came here as early as Wednesday and that gave me a lot of time to prepare myself for the tournament ", I was waiting for the match I felt I could get a win in Tashkent too as this is my Lucky and happy place , said Hibino while speaking to the Tashkent Open media Team.
Following are the Results : Round 1 singles
Fiona Ferro (FRA) bt Jana Fett (CRO) - 1/6 7/6(4) 6/1
Nao Hibino (JPN) bt Eugenie Bouchard (CAN) - 6/3 6/3
S.6 Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (SVK) bt Dejana Radanovic (SRB) - 6/3 6/0
Anastasia Potapova (RUS) bt S.4 Stefanie Voegele (SUI) - 4/6 7/6(3) 6/3
S.8. Dalila Jakupovic (SLO) bt Anna Blinkova (RUS) - 6/4 5/7 6/4
S.5 Tatjana Maria (GER) bt Natalia Vikhlyantseva (RUS) - 6/1 6/2
Margarita Gasparyan (RUS) bt Sabina Sharipova (UZB) - 6/2 6/2
Q . Fanny Stollar (HUN) bt Kurumi Nara (JPN) - 6/3 3/6 6/4
Following are the Results: Round 1 doubles
Paula Kania (POL)/Yana Sizikova (RUS) bt Barbora Stefkova (CZE)/Renata Voracova (CZE) – 6/3 6/1
Margarita Gasparyan (RUS)/Anastasia Potapova (RUS) bt WC. Nigina Abduraimova (UZB)/Anna Kalinskaya (RUS) – 7/5 6/3
Olga Danilovic (SRB)/Tamara Zidansek (SLO) bt Nicola Geuer (GER)/ Bibiane Schoofs (NED) – 2/6 6/3 10/4S.2 Nao Hibinho (JPN)/Oksana Kalashnikova (GEO) bt Chantal Skamlova (SVK)/Eva Wacanno (NED) – 6/0 6/2