Hua Hin – VETERAN Nudnida Luangnam relied on her familiarity with the windy conditions to upset her Chinese rival Zhang Kai-Ling 6-4 7-6 (7-4) in the first qualifying round of the US$125K EA Hua Hin Championships on Saturday.
The 30-year-old Nudnida from Sukhothai who lost the final round of the wildcard competition event here to Varatchaya Wongteanchai on Friday, adjusted well to strong winds at the beach city and duly secured some revenge over her 202nd-ranked rival, who beat her in China five years ago.
“Normally she plays more solid than this. The winds seemed to cause some trouble for her. On my part, I’m carrying some good momentum from the wildcard competition,” said Nudnida, the oldest active Thai female player on the tour.
She said playing in her first WTA in two years motivated her to raise the level of her performance. The 2015 Hua Hin Championships was her last time playing in a big tour event.
“I’m pumped up to play better in a WTA event. I need one more win to reach the main draw,” Nudnida, who will play Emina Bektas of the US in today’s last qualifying round.
In other first-round qualifying matches, second seed Lu jia-jing of China was stunned by Sabrina Santamaria of the US 6-4 6-4, third seed Fanny Stollar of Hungary ousted wildcard Plobrung Plipuech 6-1 6-1, seventh seed Veronika Kudermetova of Russia downed local hope Patcharin Cheapchandej 6-3 6-1 and Nicha Lertpitaksinchai beat Dalila Jakupovic of the Slovak Republic 5-7 7-6 (7-4) 6-2.