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
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
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
The momentum, by then, had clearly shifted towards the
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.)