2018 WTA 125K Series: Kumkhum, Peng Cap Season with Wins

Belinda Bencic will be a part of the Madrid Open Virtual Pro

Luksika Kumkhum and Shuai Peng ended their WTA season on a high note after winning the Taipei Open and Oracle Challenger Series Houston respectively.

Kumkhum, who was seeded second for the tournament in Taipei, defeated Sabine Lisicki in the final with 6-1, 6-3, to lift the trophy. The 25-year-old Thai had an impressive run in the event. She won her preceding matches in straight sets and continued that run in the final against the former World No. 12.

The Thai started her run against the unseeded Chinese Xinyun Han and proceeded to face the likes of Lizette Cabrera, Nao Hibino, and Bibiane Schoofs before facing Lisicki in the final.

That was her second title of the season, with the first one coming in Mumbai in the L&T Mumbai Open. That win in Taipei also propelled Kumkhum to her career-high singles ranking as the World No. 66, moving up all the way from the 81st place.

At the other side of the world, Shuai Peng was capping off a wonderful week in Houston around the same time. She had a more eventful run than Kumkhum, to say the least. Her opening match was against the Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia, whom Peng defeated in three sets.

She then proceeded to defeat the top seed and the wildcard Belinda Bencic 3-6, 6-4, 7-5.

Thereafter, it was a rather comfortable sailing for the World No. 62. In the final, she faced the American Lauren Davis. Similar to her previous matches, Peng ended up losing the first set and moved on to stage a comeback to win the match.

That also marked her first major win this season.  Interestingly, this was the first tournament that the former World No. 14 played in since the Wimbledon.

Peng had a similar run earlier this year in the WTA 125K Series event in Anning although, the best she could do there was reach the semifinal. On the WTA Tour, the Chinese has won two singles titles – 2016 WTA Tianjin and 2017 WTA Nanchang.

The next WTA event on the horizon is the WTA Shenzhen 2019 which is set to start on December 30.

Chirag Dubey
About Chirag Dubey 711 Articles
Chirag is a Bengaluru-based tennis fan and writer who brings as much love for the women’s game to the table as food.

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