Tamarine & Kimiko Make History
Published October 16, 2010 12:00
OSAKA, Japan - Kimiko Date Krumm and Tamarine Tanasugarn chalked up another victory for veterans in Osaka on Saturday, surprising two of the Top 20 players in the world to reach the final of the HP Open. With a combined age of 73 years, it is the oldest known final in Sony Ericsson WTA Tour history.
Tanasugarn was the first of the two to advance, upsetting No.2 seed Marion Bartoli, 62 75. After Tanasugarn took the first set handily, they stayed on serve through 5-all in the second set; the Thai, 33, broke for 6-5 then served it out.
"I focused on being aggressive and enjoying myself," said Tanasugarn, who reached her second final of the year, having been runner-up in Pattaya City in February. "Now it's almost the end of the year and I'm in another final. It is helping me to build confidence for hopefully having a good start to next year."
A day after stunning No.1 seed Samantha Stosur in a near-three hour duel, No.6 seed Date Krumm pulled off another upset, this time over No.3 seed Shahar Peer, winning in two hours and 58 minutes, 36 76(5) 75. Peer led 63 20 and served for it at 63 54, but the 40-year-old Date Krumm kept fighting and eventually wore her 23-year-old opponent, ranked a career-high No.13, down.
Not only is this the oldest known final ever, Date Krumm is trying to become the first 40-something ever to win a title (right now the record belongs to Billie Jean King, who won Birmingham in 1983 at 39 years and seven months).
Date Krumm and Tanasugarn are tied in their head-to-head, 1-1. Date Krumm has an 8-6 career record in finals; Tanasugarn is 3-7 in finals.
"Kimiko is incredible and amazing," Tanasugarn said about her final opponent. "She has played very well recently, particularly in Tokyo. I don't think I can play as long as she is, though. I'll probably be doing something else at 40!"