No Plans To Stop For Date-Krumm
Published April 26, 2013 02:13
When Kimiko Date-Krumm made her return to competitive tennis in 2008, it is fair to say that expectation levels were not set that high.
Then in her late 30s, and removed from the professional ranks for well over a decade, there were plenty of question marks over how Date-Krumm's anachronistic game, which relied more on guile than power, would match up against opponents 20 years her junior.
Yet Date-Krumm has defied the naysayers to remain competitive well into her 40s and she has no plans on calling it a day - much to the disappointment of her husband.
"I never thought I'd be playing five years after coming back," Date-Krumm admitted after winning the doubles title in Monterrey earlier this month. "When I started my comeback, I wasn't sure how long I'd play, but I was thinking the maximum would probably be one year.
"I enjoy it so much and so it's difficult thinking about stopping one day. But I have a normal life also and my husband is waiting at home for me to stop because I don't see him anymore!"
Unfortunately for her other half, this does not look like it will be changing anytime soon.
Her victory alongside Timea Babos in México was the highlight of an encouraging start to the season that has already seen her reach the third round of the Australian Open and re-establish herself in the Top 100 after an injury-interrupted 2012.
During her original stint on the WTA, Date-Krumm won seven titles and achieved a career-high ranking of No.4. Back then, her rivals included Steffi Graf, Martina Navratilova, Arantxa Sánchez-Vicario and Lindsay Davenport, some of whom have voiced their support - and surprise - at her second coming.
"Everybody says to me, 'you are crazy.' Their first words are always, 'you are crazy,'" she laughed. "But they support me a lot."
And her husband?
"He's also busy so he understands and supports me 100%," she said. "My husband's coming out with me to some tournaments, but then he's gone so quickly. For the first few months of this year, I've seen him only a few days - it's tough.
"One day we need to go back to normal life, but for the moment he can wait!"
"We will see. For a couple more years at least!"