Barty runs out of gas
Despite taking the first set, Ash Barty was unable to maintain her momentum as tricky Thai Luksika Kumkhum ended the Aussie's Wimbledon qualifying campaign on Wednesday.
All of her grasscourt wins in recent weeks appeared to catch up with Ash Barty on Wednesday at Roehampton.
The 20-year-old Queenslander won the opening set yet faded to a 3-6 6-4 6-2 loss to Thailand’s Luksika Kumkhum, putting an end to her Wimbledon qualifying campaign in the second round.
Kumkhum – who famously upset two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova in the first round at Australian Open 2014 – goes on to face American Vania King.
Barty had won 12 of her 14 grasscourt matches this month in a return to singles following a near two-absence, qualifying for both an ITF event in Eastbourne and the WTA Nottingham tournament and going deep in both.
Today, a succession of tired-looking errors suggested this intense burst of match play after a long absence had taken its toll.
Earlier in the match, Barty opened up a 5-2 lead in the first set and closed it out two games later.
But despite impressively powerful, controlled serving, errors began to creep into her ground game.
With games going on serve throughout the second set, a sloppy 10th game handed Kumkhum the break, and the set.
The Thai, who uses double-handed strokes on both sides of her body, in the third set raced to a 4-0 lead and had a point for 5-0 as Barty struggled to keep a rally going.
But the Aussie staged a late comeback, breaking back, holding serve and then getting within two points of a second break, which would have put the final set back on serve.
It was not to be. Barty netted a backhand to give Kumkhum a 5-2 lead, and Kumkhum broke again in the final game, sealing victory in a touch over 90 minutes with a forehand winner.