Just two days after dispatching last year’s finalist Venus Williams in the first round, Belinda Bencic suffered her own shock defeat at the hands of qualifier Luksika Kumkhum, who booked her place in the third round of a major for the first time with a comprehensive 6-1 6-3 victory.
Tennis is a game of match-ups, and Kumkhum turned out to be the wrong opponent for big-swinging Bencic, whose 16-match winning streak was halted in its tracks. The Thai 24-year-old, who plays double-handed ground strokes off both wings, returned with interest throughout the contest, picking her moments to pull the trigger and mixing things up with angles, slice and 13 net approaches, claiming the point on all but three occasions.
“It’s the first time that I’ve reached the third round,” said Kumkhum, who will face either Petra Martic or Irina-Camelia Begu for a place in the last 16. “I kept telling my coach and family I’m trying so hard to pass the second round, so I’m so happy.”