Australian Open: Anastasija Sevastova advances when Nao Hibino retires

Australian Open: Anastasija Sevastova advances when Nao Hibino retires

The 32nd seed only needed to play one set before her Japanese opponent withdrew from the match.

John Lupo

32nd seed Anastasija Sevastova advanced to the second round of the Australian Open when Nao Hibino was forced to retire with an injury following the first set.

Hibino exits match with injury after dropping opening set

After a love hold by Sevastova to open the match, each player held to 30 to give Sevastova a 2-1 lead. It was the next game that the Latvian took the lead. At 30-30, she set up break point with a brilliant drop shot and captured the break when Hibino floated a slice backhand long, giving Sevastova a 3-1 lead.

The 32nd seed had chances to go up a double break, leading 15-40 on Hibino's serve, but the Japanese did well to save both and dig out a hold. At 5-2, the Japanese saw the trainer for an apparent back issue and after treatment, she'd play on. Amazingly, she got the set back on serve in the ninth game, breaking to 15 when the Latvian netted a backhand. It was all for naught when Sevastova broke to love as Hibino's backhand went wide to capture the set.

Three points were played and after the second one, Hibino appeared to pull up lame with a leg injury, which was looked at following the first set. She couldn't continue and Sevastova has advanced to a second round meeting with Kristina Kucova. The Latvian won their only previous meeting in Kaohsuing in three very close sets by a 4-6, 7-6 (0), 7-6 (3) score.

By the numbers

Sevastova only got 48% of her first serves in, but she won 71% of those points. She took half of her break chances (2/4) while limiting Hibino to 44% of her second serve points won.