Francesca Sets Date With Kimiko
Published September 28, 2010 12:00
TOKYO, Japan - Kimiko Date Krumm put the 40th birthday celebrations on hold on Tuesday and continued to advance at the Toray Pan Pacific Open, reaching the third round of her country's biggest tournament.
Date Krumm was leading Daniela Hantuchova, 26 60 40, when her fellow former Top 5 player was forced to retire due to a right shoulder injury. Date Krumm was in total command at the time however, and became the first woman in her 40s to win a main draw match at a Sony Ericsson WTA Tour-level event since Wimbledon in 2004, when Martina Navratilova achieved the feat.
"I'm very happy, especially because it's my 40th birthday. There were many Japanese fans cheering for me; it was a special occasion," Date Krumm said. "Yesterday was my last day in my 30s, so beating Sharapova was a very big win for me. Now I'm not going to put any pressure on myself for my 40s."
Date Krumm came out of almost 12 years of retirement in the spring of 2008 and still manages to hang with today's big players. "I don't have a secret. I just enjoy playing tennis. I have more experience than the younger girls, too. I turned professional at 18 and played for eight years, then learned many things during my break. I know when to be calm now too; for instance, after I lost the first set today, I can always put a bad point behind me and focus on the next one. I couldn't do that when I was younger. Experience can be very helpful."
Next up for Date Krumm will be No.5 seed and reigning French Open champion Francesca Schiavone, who recorded a 75 63 win over Alexandra Dulgheru. Schiavone leads Date Krumm in their head-to-head, 1-0, winning their only previous meeting in the first round of Indian Wells this year.
"Against Schiavone I have nothing to lose," Date Krumm said. "She's very strong and obviously by winning Roland Garros she has a lot of confidence. She puts a lot of spin on the ball and uses the angles so I need to run a lot!"
No.1 seed Caroline Wozniacki also won, routing qualifier Greta Arn, 61 63. Next up is No.16 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova; Wozniacki leads Pavlyuchenkova in their head-to-head, 4-0, never having lost a set.
"She likes to take the ball early and play aggressively," Wozniacki said. "I need to be ready. It's a fast court so I'll try to be the one who decides the points."
There were a few upsets on Day 3, with Julia Goerges out-acing No.4 seed Samantha Stosur eight to six during a 75 63 win; Andrea Petkovic bouncing No.10 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova, 63 75, for her second straight win over the two-time Grand Slam champion in Tokyo; and Kaia Kanepi and qualifier Coco Vandeweghe ousting some lower seeds, Kanepi beating No.13 seed Shahar Peer, 63 76(5), and Vandeweghe surprising No.14 seed Aravane Rezai, 64 64.