The teenager took two and a half hours to eliminate fourth seed Birnerova 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 at the Shiv Chattrapati Sports Complex, Balewadi.
Ranked 216 in WTA ranking, Kumkhum knocked off a former World No 59 and she termed this result as her best so far. “This win is probably my best win on the WTA circuit. The match was very tough and tiring. I didn’t expect that I would win against her, but it was not her day today. I kept my cool throughout and that worked in my favour,” said Kumkhum.
Kumkhum said the win is special considering she suffered from a thigh muscle pull just before the tournament. “I didn’t try to exert myself despite playing a higher-ranked player as I didn’t want the injury to resurface,” she said.
Birnerova (28) didn’t hold back the praise: “She played well and won four crucial points in the second set which made the difference. Nothing seemed to work for me today and my opponent just capitalised on that,” said Birnerova.