In this match, there was a little bit of entertainment. Kostyuk didn’t know where she could leave her ice towel and smiled as she walked across to the other side of the court to leave it there. On a day that hot, the tournament doesn’t need to worry about a few drops of water con court! Hibino was then broken by Kostyuk at 2-1. Kostyuk then got broken back on the very next game! She finished off that game with a double fault. In this game, Kostyuk admirably stretched off her left foot just behind the service line and sent up a high lob on, but just as Hibino looked to get in position to take the ball (as the ball looked to be good), the umpire called it long.
When serving at 3 all, a wide backhand return into the short side opened the game for Hibino. However, on the very next point, Kostyuk tried the very same approach and pulled it off to go back level on her service game. Despite being up a break and on top all set, Kostyuk saved break point off a rally. Kostyuk broke in Nao’s 3rd game, and her confidence only grew. Kostyuk attempted a ‘air’ slice on the run, slicing the ball while jumping in the air. After that, Kostyuk sped away with the set 6-3.
Additionally, in the very first game of the second set, Hibino was broken. Hibino then went up 15- love on Kostyuk’s service game, but a crafty running slice backhand almost got Kostyuk back on serve but was wide. Kostyuk then went down a break and, incredibly, double faulted on break point. All the early momentum Kostyuk had in opening of the second set seemed to evaporate in in the blink of an eye. However, Kostyuk broke right back! There were 3 consecutive breaks in 3 games to start the second set!
Kostyuk then had a chance to go up a double break in the second set, but Hibino held off the break point opportunities in her service game at 3-1 down. At 4-5 and when Kostyuk was a game away from the match, Hibino went up 30-love on Kostyuk’s serve, and then had her first break point in a quite a while. Hibino then iced the high ball cross-court and broke Kostyuk to level at 5-all. Hibino then held her serve and pushed the set to a tie-break. Hibino then went up a mini break in the 2nd set tiebreak, but unfortunately lost the tie-break and the match.