Interview of the Day : Nao Hibino

24 September 2018

Tashkent Lucky for me : Hibino

2015 champion  Nao Hibino   returned  to her happiest hunting ground  dismissing former world No5   Eugenie Bouchard at the Tashkent Open. The win extends Hibino’s stellar record in Tashkent to 11-2.  the Japanese player lifted her lone WTA title here in 2015, and returned the next year to reach the final in 2016  

Hibino and Bouchard  have faced each other now three times over the last month and a half - all of the matches going Hibino’s way. After defeating the Canadian in three sets at the ITF level in Vancouver, Hibino knocked out Bouchard a few weeks ago at the Japan Women’s Open in Hiroshima.

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.

The  last time I  won the tournament here I  was last player to make it to the main draw and this year too I was the last player to get into the main draw , so  I feel it's good omen for me this year too.

Speaking on the year she said " I didn't have good results till French open , I skipped Wimbledon and trained at home , but in the second part of the year my results are getting better . Asked about her dropping rankings and how she was taking it , the Japanese admitted "  Yes  I'm under a  little pressure , but  I'm trying not to think about rankings , I'm focusing  and  preparing  myself to become a better player  , may aim is to  get back into the top 100 by the end of this year ".

Asked on how Naomi Osaka has changed perception on women's tennis in Japan , Hibino said "  I played in Tokyo this year and a  lot of people came to watch our matches . I was surprised that  so many people came  to watch tennis matches of Japanese players. Not too many people came for our matches earlier , so surely Naomi's win will make a lot of difference to women's tennis". 

 When asked why she chose to come to Tashkent  over  other events   ,   Hibino said"  I have a choice  I will come back to Tashkent I love the tournament and have some good results here this is my happy hunting ground".