Kimiko Date-Krumm survived a late rally from Tamarine Tanasugarn to reach the final of the Royal Indian Open.
WTA Staff

PUNE, India - According to 42-year-old Kimiko Date-Krumm, age is just a number. And this week, the old adage has never rung more true.

At a stage of the season when most of her fellow pros are getting some well-deserved rest and relaxation, Date-Krumm is still on court and still notching up wins against players half her age.

However, on Saturday she was up against another of the tour's more experienced campaigners, Tamarine Tanasugarn, in the semifinals of the Royal Indian Open.

Over two and a half hours, the pair belied their veteran status to serve up a match with plenty of drama and no little skill. After splitting two evenly matched sets, Date-Krumm appeared to be easing to a comfortable victory when she moved 5-1 ahead in the decider.

Tanasugarn was not about to go out with a whimper, digging in to reduce her arrears to 5-4 before a nervy Date-Krumm eventually edged over the line, 64 57 64.

"I know she always fights to the very end and she was a lot more focused at the end of the third set," Date-Krumm said. "I was leading 5-1 but then she improved her level and I was not at all comfortable at the end when it was 5-4!

"I was trying to mix up my shots - some short, some slice, some down the middle - but she is a good player so it wasn't always easy as her shots are very flat.

"To me, age is a just a number. I enjoy the time I spend on the court, I enjoy winning and I enjoy fighting in tough matches like today."

Here she will meet Elina Svitolina, who brought Andrea Petkovic's comeback to a shuddering halt, with a surprise 62 75 win in the other semifinal.

After playing her best tennis since returning from a long-term ankle injury to defeat No.1 seed Nina Bratchikova on Friday, Petkovic went into the match brimming with confidence. But, this form was nowhere to be seen against Svitolina, who dominated proceedings from start to finish with her big groundstrokes and even bigger serve.

"She played well throughout the whole match, but I think I really let the match get away at the beginning" Petkovic said. "I wasn't moving very well and she never really let me get into the match.

"She was serving at a very high level and it was so tough to break her and she really deserved to go through."

In the doubles final Bratchikova and Oksana Kalashnikova overcame a mid-match blip to defeat Julia Glushko and Noppawan Lertcheewakarn, 60 46 108.