Title holder and fourth seed Nao Hibino of Japan and her country mate fifth seeded Kurumi Nara scored easy wins in the opening matches of the main draw at the 18th edition of Tashkent Open WTA Championships being played at the Olympic tennis School in Tashkent.
Fourth seeded and 21 year Nao Hibino currently ranked 78 scored a 6/3 6/1 win over an overwhelmed sixteen year local wildcard entrant Komola Umarova in just under a hour .
" I'm happy to be back to Tashkent and was a bit nervous playing here " said Hibino who had claimed her maiden title last year after the opening match .
Another Japanese and fifth seeded Kurumi Nara registered a 7-5 ,6-2 win over another sixteen year old wildcard entrant Dayana Yastremska of Ukraine in a 1 hour 48 minute match.
In the other singles played Czech Republic's Denisa Allertova seeded ninth stopped Japanese qualifier Hiroko Kuwata 6/3 6/4. Maria Sakkari of Greece was made to sweat before going past Slovak Anna Karolina Schmiedlova 2/6 6/3 6/4 in another first round match.
In the toughest match of the day lasting over 2 hours and 38 minutes 103 ranked Stefanie Voegele of Switzerland played a ding dong match to survive against local qualifier Sabina Sharipova 7/5 5/7 7/5.
Voegele won the first set breaking Sharipova in the 11th game of the first set , in the second set Sharipova came from being 2-5 down and saving 3 match points to break Voegele in the 12 game and level set scores.
In the third set Sharipova rallied fluently from the baseline hitting a series of winners to go up 4-2 in the third set , Voegele held on to make it 4-3 at the change Voegle called for a medical break which seemed to disturb the 22 year old Uzbek rhythm as she lost two games in row to let the Swiss go up 5-4. Voegele lost her serve in the 10th game and he scores were level at 5-5 .
Sharipova looked jaded in the final two games and lost her serve in the 11th game while Voegele held on her 12th game with two aces and emerge winner in the battle of nerves and move into the round of 16 for the second year in a row.
Following are the Results (First Round Singles)
 Nao Hibino (JPN) vs [WC] Komola Umarova (UZB) 6/3 6/1
Stefanie Voegele (SUI) vs [Q] Sabina Sharipova (UZB) 7/5 5/7 7/5
 Kurumi Nara (JPN) vs [WC] Dayana Yastremska (UKR)
 Denisa Allertova (CZE) vs [Q] Hiroko Kuwata (JPN) 6/3 6/4
Maria Sakkari (GRE) vs Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (SVK) 2/6 6/3 6/4
Doubles ( First Round)
 Lyudmyla Kichenok (UKR) / Nadiia Kichenok (UKR) vs [WC] Arina Folts (UZB) / Komola Umarova (UZB) 6/4 6/0
Kristyna Pliskova (CZE) / Amra Sadikovic (SUI) vs Naomi Broady (GBR) / Cagla Buyukakcay (TUR) 6/4 7/5
 Raluca Olaru (ROU) / Ipek Soylu (TUR) vs Irina Khromacheva (RUS) / Lidziya Marozava (BLR) 7/5 6/4[PR] Akgul Amanmuradova (UZB) / Vitalia . Diatchenko (RUS) vs Jaqueline Cako (USA) / Emily Webley-Smith (GBR) 6/2 4/6 10/7
Date of Birth: 25 FEB 1994
Birthplace: Montréal, Canada
Height: 5’10" (1.78 m)
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