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PTI Mumbai
Updated: 02-11-2018 22:42 IST

Fifth seed Luksika Kumkhum of

Thailand produced the biggest upset of the L and T Mumbai Open

tennis tournament here Friday by knocking out top seed Saisai

Zheng of China to enter the semi finals of the 125K WTA event.

Luksika fought back brilliantly after dropping the

opening set, hitting hard and deep with her double-fisted

forehand as well as backhand, besides attacking the net at

opportune times, to carve out an impressive 3-6 6-4 6-4

victory in 2 hours and 17 minutes at the Cricket Club of India

hard courts.

It was the second time in three meetings stretching

back to 2013 that the Thai player, ranked 103rd, had beaten

Saisai, ranked 47th who had made the second round of Wimbledon

this year, and both her victories had come this year the

first one in a 25K ITF event in Japan in April.

In their first ever meeting, Saisai had beaten the

Thai woman in three sets in a 5k WTA event in her home


The Chinese had sent India number two Karman Thandi

packing in the first round while Luksika had come back from

2-5 in the third set to get past national number three,

Pranjala Yadlapalli, in the round of 32.

Luksika will meet sixth seed Margarita Garparyan on

Saturday in the semis. The latter had a tough time before

getting her way past Montenegro's Danka Kovinic, conqueror of

fourth seed Olga Danilovic of Serbia, 7-6(4) 4-6 6-1.

In the other semi final, no 2 seed Dalila Jakupovic of

Slovenia, last year's losing finalist, will take on Russia's

Irina Khromacheva.

Luksika lost the opening set tamely as she was broken

thrice by her higher-ranked Chinese opponent.

She then stormed her way back by breaking Saisai in

the fifth game of the second set.

Although she was broken back immediately, Luksika

broke her opponent's serve again in the seventh game for a 4-3

lead and then clinched the set on the first set point when she

led 5-4.

The momentum, by then, had clearly shifted towards the

Thai player.

She jumped to a commanding 5-1 lead by breaking her

rival thrice before the Chinese top seed fought back to

retrieve two service breaks.

Saisai later saved two match points when serving at

3-5 to hold her serve. But she could not get the third service

break that she needed to stay in the hunt and lost the match

by hitting her backhand into the net when facing the third

match-point on the Thais serve.

"The second set was pretty close. I missed a few

points and she was more aggressive. I did not start the third

set well. I picked up in the end but it was not enough," said

Saisai after her shock defeat.

"I had a long season and it is difficult to play in

this weather," she added.

Luksika, a third round loser after coming through the

qualifiers in the Australian Open at the beginning of the

year, said she doesn't give up easily when faced with


"Sometimes you have nothing to lose and just have to

find a way to win. When it's a tough day I don't think about

it and just keep playing," the 25-year-old Thai said.

"I have played Saisai earlier this year and it was

quite different that time," she said about her earlier win

over the top-50 player from China.

Saisai's exit meant that the draw has lost three out

of the four top seeds the others being no 3 Sachia Vickery

of USA and no 4 Olga, who both lost in round one, by the

quarter final stage.


Singles (quarter finals): 5-Luksika Kumkhum (THA) bt 1-Saisai

Zheng (CHN) 3-6 6-4 6-4; 6-Margarita Gasparyan (RUS) bt Danka

Kovinic 7-6(4) 4-6 6-1; 2-Dalila Jakupovic (SLO) bt Jia-Jing

Lu (CHN) 6-2 6-3; Irina Khromacheva (RUS) bt Valentini

Grammatikopoulou (GRE) 7-5 4-6 6-1.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)