July 30, 2019 / 4:23 AM / 4 months ago

Hibi tops error-ridden Babos in Silicon Valley

FILE PHOTO: Sep 1, 2015; New York, NY, USA; Mayo Hibi of Japan hits a volley against Sara Errani of Italy (not pictured) on day two of the 2015 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Errani won 6-0, 6-1. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) - Japan’s Mayo Hibi battled back from 5-2 down in the third set to secure a 6-2 3-6 7-6(3) win over Timea Babos in the first round of the Silicon Valley Classic on Monday.

Hibi benefited from 52 unforced errors from the Hungarian to claim one of the biggest wins of her career but will be the underdog when she next faces Maria Sakkari, who rolled to a 6-1 6-4 victory over Ekaterina Alexandrova later in the day.

The seventh-seeded Greek, who reached the third round of Wimbledon in July, fired six aces and won 82 percent of her first service points to easily dispatch Alexandrova on a warm and breezy day in Northern California.

Other first-round winners included sixth-seeded Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro as well as Americans CoCo Vandeweghe and Kristie Ahn.

The action picks up on Tuesday when former world number one Victoria Azarenka faces France’s Harmony Tan and seven-time major champion Venus Williams is set to battle fellow American Bethanie Mattek-Sands.

Reporting by Rory Carroll; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty

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