KUALA LUMPUR: Japan’s Nao Hibino will take on Australian qualifier Ashleigh Barty in the women's singles final of the WTA Malaysian Open tomorrow.
World No 106 Nao reached her third career singles final by overcoming 93rd-ranked Magda Linette of Poland 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 in 166 minutes at TPC Kuala Lumpur today.
In the other semi-final match, World No 156 Ashleigh recorded a comprehensive 6-3, 7-5 win over 139th-ranked China’s Han Xinyun 6-3, 7-5 to make her first ever tour final.
It will be a final between good friends as Nao and Ashleigh were doubles partners in their junior days.
“I have to prepare well for the match. I have not seen Ashleigh play here. I want to win the title, of course, and I will come up with a good strategy to achieve my goal," said Nao today.
Nao, whose only tour win was Tashkent in 2015, and Ashleigh have met once on the tour with the former winning the match in Tokyo in 2013.