September 30, 2016

TASHKENT, Uzbekistan (AP) Nao Hibino is one match away from retaining her title at the Tashkent Open after beating Denisa Allertova 6-2, 6-3 in the semifinals Friday.

The fourth-seeded Japanese player can become the first woman to win the Tashkent title twice if she beats another Czech player, Kristyna Pliskova, in Saturday's final.

Pliskova, the identical twin sister of sixth-ranked Karolina Pliskova, beat Kateryna Kozlova of Ukraine 7-6 (2), 6-0.

Pliskova has won both of her previous matches against Hibino. However, those encounters were on grass rather than the hard-court surface used in Tashkent.

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