Kimiko Date-Krumm's Pattaya City Blog: Thursday
Published February 09, 2012 12:00
PATTAYA CITY, Thailand - In 2008 Kimiko Date-Krumm made a popular return to the WTA after almost 12 years in retirement, and since then she has been wowing crowds around the world with her unique style and showing age ain't nothing but a number. Now one of Asia's most celebrated athletes of all time is in Pattaya City and will bring us the latest blog this week.
Thursday, February 9, 2012
Well, today I played two matches and am very tired - you know my age. Haha. I lost my singles. I didn't want to lose two matches in one day so I focused really hard on the doubles - Akgul is great and we played aggressively, and we won!
In the singles, I was up 5-2 in the first set, then I started to feel very tired. There were a lot of long rallies and it was a little bit difficult to concentrate. At the same time my opponent was making less mistakes, and it was windy on the court - a lot of bad things at the same time for me! When it was 5-all I didn't feel very good. My body wasn't feeling strong and mentally I wasn't so strong either. After I lost the first set, I lost my rhythm, and she wasn't making any mistakes anymore. It was also sunny and hot - I prefer to play after sunset or in the evening when it's not so hot. Last time I played at 5pm, 90% of the time the court was in the shadows, so I felt better. But anyway... she played really well!
Thank you again for all of your questions, I really enjoy answering them :) Here are a few more answers for today... have a good night!
What is your favorite tournament and favorite city? Benoit, France
My favorite tournament is Wimbledon. When I was a child, I always liked watching Wimbledon. At that time my family only had a TV in the living room - there was no TV in my room. And when Wimbledon season came I would be very happy. In Japan we have the futon - I would bring one in front of the TV and settle myself there. Because of the time difference it was always late in Japan to watch the matches from Wimbledon, especially for children, so I would often sit in front of the TV with my sleepy head resting on my hand! I didn't want to go to bed. These are good memories from my childhood... it was my dream to play in Wimbledon and even when I became a professional player I still had special feelings towards it. I respect its history and I like the beautiful grass courts. Even though after two weeks of matches there's no grass anymore, it's very pleasant to play on the grass, especially at the beginning of the tournament :)
For favorite places to visit, I really like Germany and Austria. I like mountains and I like green nature. These two countries have great natural things - it's very nice to look around and enjoy life in that part of the world.
Who are your closest friends on tour, now or from the '90s? Vince, USA
Right now my best friend on the WTA is my doubles partner, Zhang Shuai, a Chinese player. She is a very nice girl. As long as we're in the same tournament, we will play together and practice together a lot, and we always talk when we play! When I played Wozniacki at Roland Garros last year and lost, she was even crying for that. She always helps me too - like if I have to play two matches in one day, and one of them is us playing doubles, she will say, 'Don't worry, I will cover for you, just stay there and I'll play more.' She is lovely!
In the 1990s my English was not very good. I did not talk with the top players very much. At the time the top players were Graf, Seles, Navratilova, Sabatini... they did not talk so much with each other either. I remember Sánchez-Vicario, too - you know Spanish people, they are always so friendly and talking and laughing :) I had a good relationship with many players - we did not go to dinner a lot, but sometimes when we met in the locker room we would talk a lot. After these players retired they became more open, very open. I am also more open than before. When we all happen to meet now, we will chat more than before.
Do you visit Germany? Do you like the food there? Chris, Germany
Yes, I visit Germany pretty often. My husband stays in Monaco now, so we do not have too many chances to visit Germany together, but once we are there we will have a good time. I like visiting his hometown, it's in southern Germany, a very nice place. There are many tasty foods there, great breakfast... they can bake very nice bread. When I'm there, every morning I will go to the bakery and buy some bread - very fresh and tasty!
How do players now compare to those from the '90s? Javier
Now everybody is more powerful. For example, when I go to the gym, I see many more players there than before. They do so many activities. Also the balls are faster now... but technically, the players in the 1990s had more tactics.
In your first career you didn't play doubles very much, but now it looks like you enjoy it. How do you feel about doubles now? Pinky, Japan
I indeed did not play so much doubles back then. I liked doubles, but I didn't have enough time. I needed to focus more on the singles. I always played second week at Grand Slams, quarterfinals, semifinals... it was not easy to play both. Like Li Na now, she is a very good doubles player, but she never plays doubles - if you have to play singles and doubles it's too tough, especially at the Grand Slams. Now it is still difficult to play both but I'm not winning as many singles matches as in the 1990s, so I am more relaxed when I'm playing doubles. And sometimes when I lose confidence in singles, doubles helps me find it again. So yes, now I enjoy it more.