Stats Corner: Better With Age?
Published November 18, 2010 12:00
Age is just a number and being 30 or older does not have to mean your best days are behind you, never more evident for the WTA in 2010 than in October at Osaka. That's where 40-year-old Kimiko Date Krumm beat a player less than half her age - 16-year-old Laura Robson (who was born five years after Date Krumm made her WTA debut) - and this year's French Open runner-up - Samantha Stosur en route to reaching the final.
Who finally conquered Date Krumm? None other than 33-year-old Tamarine Tanasugarn, whose path to the title included a win over 18-year-old Coco Vandeweghe. Date Krumm and Tanasugarn had the greatest known combined age in WTA finals history.
Although Tanasugarn was the only player 30 or older to win a tournament in 2010, quite a few such players made their mark. The rankings showcase this, as seven players 30 or older finished in the year-end Top 100, up from five at the end of 2009.
30+ Year-Olds in 2010 Year-End Top 100
(number in parentheses is player's age as of November 8, 2010):
No.5 Venus Williams (30)
No.7 Francesca Schiavone (30)
No.44 Patty Schnyder (32)
No.46 Kimiko Date Krumm (40)
No.58 Tamarine Tanasugarn (33)
No.88 Greta Arn (31)
No.98 Jill Craybas (36)
Notes: In August, Date Krumm became the oldest player to rank in the Top 50 since March 11, 1984, when Billie Jean King was No.22 at 40 years, 3 months old. Date Krumm will break that record if she is still in the Top 50 at the end of January 2011 … Williams and Schiavone won four titles between them in 2010, but they were all before they turned 30 … The two players 30 or older who won titles in 2009 were Date Krumm and Tanasugarn … Current No.4 Serena Williams will join the 30+ club next September.