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40 LOVE Moments: One Night In Osaka...

Kimiko Date-Krumm had a phenomenal fall season in 2010, beating a slew of big names - and one of those wins put her in the history books in a big way. What did the Japanese No.1 accomplish?

Published October 11, 2013 12:03

40 LOVE Moments: One Night In Osaka...
Kimiko Date-Krumm

OSAKA, Japan - Kimiko Date-Krumm's feat at the HP Open in 2010 might just be the most fitting 40 LOVE Moment of them all, for she scored a first for a rare breed of tennis player - 40-somethings.

Date-Krumm was already the oldest player ever to beat a Top 10 player, beating then-No.9 Dinara Safina in the first round of the French Open a few months earlier at 39 years, 7 months and 26 days.

But in Osaka she upped that, beating then-No.8 Samantha Stosur in the quarterfinals of Osaka at 40 years and 17 days. The Japanese had become the first 40-something ever to beat a Top 10 player.

"She's a strong opponent and made the finals of Roland Garros this year, so I'm very happy," Date-Krumm said after the 57 63 76(7) win. "Everyone thought it was impossible, but impossible is nothing. Tennis isn't only speed and power - you play mentally. I used it all and played with nothing to lose."

"I had several chances to win, but Kimiko played very well today," the always-gracious Stosur said. "She moves very fast on the court and hits the ball very flat. She's doing really well at the moment."

Date-Krumm actually raised her game against the big names that whole fall season - during the post-US Open season she was 5-2 against Top 20 players, with wins over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Maria Sharapova, Shahar Peer, Li Na and Stosur (the only one who was Top 10 at the time).

The story doesn't finish there, either - with the 40-year-old Date-Krumm and a 33-year-old Tamarine Tanasugarn eventually making the final in Osaka, it was the oldest known final in WTA history.

"Kimiko is incredible and amazing," Tanasugarn said. "She's playing very well recently, particularly in Tokyo. I don't think I can play as long as her, though. I'll probably be doing something else at 40!"

Tanasugarn would eventually win the title in a marathon three-hour, seven-minute final, 75 67(4) 61.

"I fought as hard as I could," Date-Krumm said. "Nobody wants to lose, but I tried everything."

Kimiko Date-Krumm, Sam Stosur

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