NANCHANG, China - Monday was a good day for Thai players at the inaugural Zhonghong Jiangxi International Women's Open, as Thai No.1 Luksika Kumkhum and Thai No.2 Noppawan Lertcheewakarn won their openers against Chinese opponents.
The fourth-seeded Kumkhum converted on five of six break points and saved eight of 10 on her own serve in her 6-3, 6-3 defeat of Zheng Wushuang. And Lertcheewakarn was a 6-2, 6-4 winner over Tang Hao Chen.
One seed fell, as Wang Qiang converted on four of five break points and rallied from a 5-3 second set deficit in her 6-4, 7-6(3) victory over No.7 seed and fellow Chinese Duan Ying-Ying. And though it was an upset on paper, it was hardly a surprise, considering Wang is now 6-0 in their head-to-head.
Another Chinese victor was Zhu Lin, whose 6-3, 6-4 win over Jang Su Jeong was her 50th of the year. She has had tremendous success on the ITF Women's Circuit this year, with four titles, and has now won 20 of her last 21 matches.
Nanchang is the first of six WTA 125K Series events this year and the first of four in the Asia-Pacific region, the others being in Suzhou, China; Ningbo, China; and Taipei, Chinese Taipei.
With total prize money of $125,000 and 160 ranking points for the champion, WTA 125K Series events are a level above top-tier ITF Women's Circuit events. Past WTA 125K Series tournament champions include Kristina Mladenovic, WTA Rising Star Elina Svitolina, Shahar Peer and Bojana Jovanovski.