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Date-Krumm Conquered In Kuala Lumpur

Anne Kremer got past Kimiko Date-Krumm for her first main draw win of 2011.

Published March 01, 2011 03:50

Date-Krumm Conquered In Kuala Lumpur
Anne Kremer

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - A day after No.1 seed Francesca Schiavone was sent home from the BMW Malaysian Open, No.7 seed Kimiko Date-Krumm joined her on the sidelines, falling just short in a thriller between the two oldest players in the draw.

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Thirty-five-year-old Anne Kremer, who was extended to three sets in her qualifying finale Monday, went the distance again, edging the 40-year-old Japanese, 46 62 76(5), in a battle featuring the sixth-greatest combined age on record for a WTA match. The third set was especially dramatic, with Kremer racing out to a 4-1 lead and then losing her serve at 5-4 despite having a match point. Kremer eventually fell behind, 5-6, 0-30, but rallied to force a tie-break, in which she prevailed for her first main draw victory since Caroline Wozniacki retired against her in the first round in Luxembourg in October 2009.

The other seeds in action Tuesday all advanced in straight sets, with fourth-seeded Jarmila Groth the only one to even lose more than two games. One of the dominant performances was executed by third-seeded Alisa Kleybanova, who is undefeated here, having won this event last year. She beat qualifier Lu Jing-Jing, 61 61. Second-seeded Marion Bartoli was in similar form, routing Maria Elena Camerin, 60 61.

"I'm really happy with the way I played," said Bartoli, who is now 4-1 all-time against the Italian. "I am so confident right now, as I've already made two semifinals and one quarterfinal this year. And if I didn't get injured at the Australian Open, I would have gone further. Tennis is a lot about confidence, and on the court it is showing right now that I'm really in control and I'm not nervous, so I can really play freely and do what I need to do."

In a match involving unseeded players, Dinara Safina, seeking to put an injury-plagued 2010 behind her, got her first win since last September in Seoul, 62 60, over Han Xinyun. The former No.1, whose ranking has sunk to No.113, will play Lucie Safarova in an intruiging second round clash.

Schiavone's conqueror, Jelena Dokic, is among those in action on Wednesday, as she will take on Kurumi Nara. Also, Kremer will square off with Noppawan Lertcheewakarn.

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