BIRMINGHAM, England - She's achieved a lot since coming back to the WTA in 2008, but apparently she's nowhere near done. Kimiko Date-Krumm reached the biggest quarterfinal of her comeback at the Aegon Classic on Thursday, and in style too, taking out defending champion Daniela Hantuchova.
Having come back from match point down to take out No.12 seed Monica Puig the day before, Date-Krumm looked like she was in for another battle against the No.7-seeded Hantuchova, breaking mid-way through the first set but facing a break point while serving for that opening frame at 5-4, ad-out.
But Date-Krumm never lost another game. She won three points in a row to sneak out the set, and then raced through the second set at love in just 27 minutes, eventually walking off a 6-4, 6-0 winner.
And what about the biggest quarterfinal of her comeback? Date-Krumm had been to the quarterfinals or better of WTA events 10 times in her comeback before this, but this is the first time she has been to the quarterfinals of a Premier-level event or higher since the WTA Finals all the way back in 1996 (there she fell to Martina Hingis in the quarterfinals then subsequently went into retirement).
A day before, Stosur had served up four aces in a love game during her second round win over Christina McHale. What do you think a perfect service game like that should be called? Tell us here!
The rest of the seeds all moved through to the quarterfinals, with No.1 seed Ana Ivanovic cruising past WTA rising star Lauren Davis in just 68 minutes, 6-1, 6-1, No.3 seed Sloane Stephens winning an all-American affair with No.15 seed Alison Riske, 7-6(4), 2-6, 6-1, No.4 seed Kirsten Flipkens rallying from 6-1, 5-3 down to beat Canadian qualifier Aleksandra Wozniak, 1-6, 7-5, 6-4, No.6 seed Klara Koukalova coming from 6-3, 5-3 down - and withstanding 18 aces - to beat CoCo Vandeweghe, 3-6, 7-6(3), 6-4, and last but not least No.9 seed Zhang Shuai beating Petra Cetkovska, 6-0, 7-6(6).
Ivanovic's win over Davis was her 34th match win of the year, tying her with Carla Suárez Navarro for WTA leader. If she wins her quarterfinal with Koukalova she'll be the first in 2014 to reach 35.
Ivanovic leads Koukalova in their head-to-head, 2-1, though Koukalova did win their only 2014 meeting.