Kimiko Date announces her (2nd) retirement -
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post #1 of 60 (permalink) Old Aug 28th, 2017, 09:33 AM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Kimiko Date announces her (2nd) retirement

<My Decision>

"The not too distant day" finally arrived.

Kimiko Date has decided to put an end to her second challenge.

I was determined to continue my challenge until the day I could no longer ignore my inner voice.

9 and a half years have passed since the start of my second challenge in April of 2008. In the beginning of the 10th season in 2017, I had a knee cartridge transplant and returned to the tour in May.

As I was relieved to complete The Kangaroo Cup in Gifu, the first tournament after returning to the tour and feeling optimistic about playing, my old shoulder injury began to act up. Although there's no pain in my knee, I'm not 100% confident to move freely and unable to play as I wish I could in tournaments. I have always loved playing tennis and faced every competition seriously but now, I find myself adjusting the amount and the quality of training while worrying about my physical condition more so than the competition itself.

I'm generally able to control my activities and schedule while in Japan. I can rest from training if my knee or shoulder condition is bad or alter my training if needed. However, while on a tour, my schedule is not as flexible since there are others on the tour with me. Of course, there are times when my physical condition is not up to par and I must cancel training due to fatigue or injury, but this rarely used to happen. Yet, this has been occurring more frequently these days. It is very difficult to accept and I feel frustrated that I'm inconveniencing others on tour with me. I realized this in July, while I was on tour in America for 3 weeks.

I had survived the painful knee surgery, overcame harsh rehabilitation and hard training to get in shape to play in a tournament which I feel is a great accomplishment. However, when I compare my level of play to before my injuries, I realize that there's a gap and it's not easy to fill.

By trying to fill the gap, I spend days fluctuating between hope and despair. I know that I should be thinking only about winning while on tour, but I can't help thinking about my physical condition. I know that I need to push my physical potential to the maximum so that I can compete with young players in their twenties, but I find myself unable to do so even if I wanted to.

As a professional tennis player, I must commit myself to play on the tour, which means traveling around the world throughout the year and qualify to play in the WTA tournaments and ultimately in the Grand Slams. But now, even if I decrease the number of tournaments, I have to admit that it will still be very difficult to continue playing on the tour.

Maybe you don't have to deal with the pain anymore...

Maybe you don't need to endure the pain...

These thoughts have been circling my mind.

It wasn't easy to shake off the desire to run around the court freely and play quick games like before. I have always believed that I can do it.

It'll be a lie if I said that I no longer believe that, but if there is a good time to put an end to my tennis career, I thought the time is now.

For now, I want to spend the remaining days doing what needs to be done as a professional tennis player. Even though I had suffered injury, I would like to take the opportunity to reflect through my blog after the tournament in Ariake on the great times I had on the tour, the fact I was ranked in the top 50?s, appreciation for my supporting fans, and all the fruitful events during the 9 and a half years.

I am now concentrating all my energy in rehabilitation, training, and practice towards The Japan Women?s Open while taking daily consideration of my knee and shoulder condition. This tournament in Ariake will be my last tournament of my second challenge.

Now that I have made the difficult decision to retire, I would like all of you who have supported me over the years to come and see my final play and it would make me very happy if you could keep that image in your memory.

Although the Coliseum will not be used, the courts of Ariake Tennis Park which will be hosting The Japan Women's Open starting on September 11th, are filled with lots of memories for me. I don't know what kind of play I can display, but I wanted you to know my decision in advance so that I can share with you the moment of putting an end to my second challenge.

Kimiko Date
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post #2 of 60 (permalink) Old Aug 28th, 2017, 09:38 AM
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Re: Kimiko Date announces her (2nd) retirement

It was time..I wish her nothing but the best.

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post #3 of 60 (permalink) Old Aug 28th, 2017, 09:38 AM
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Re: Kimiko Date announces her (2nd) retirement

She will be sorely missed.. What a competitor she has been, and what an example to older players.
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post #4 of 60 (permalink) Old Aug 28th, 2017, 09:41 AM
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Re: Kimiko Date announces her (2nd) retirement

I think it's amazing she attempted to come back after being out with injury in her 40s..But I think now is the right time.. She has her bakery to look after.
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post #5 of 60 (permalink) Old Aug 28th, 2017, 09:46 AM
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Re: Kimiko Date announces her (2nd) retirement

Very sad to hear, but i had a feeling it might be coming after her recent trip to the US challenger circuit.

I'll remember her as a great fighter who brought a lot of class, style and spirit to the sport. All the best to Kimiko!

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post #6 of 60 (permalink) Old Aug 28th, 2017, 09:50 AM
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Re: Kimiko Date announces her (2nd) retirement

Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo ooooooooooooo!

I can't say it is unexpected, especially considering she has been all the time injured the last 2 years, but it is so sad to see the most elegant player out there retiring. Thank you for everything and you won a lot of new fans in your second career. What an injustice she couldn't make a deep run into a big tournament. I can't believe it's been 7 years since that epic Osaka final against Tami.

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post #7 of 60 (permalink) Old Aug 28th, 2017, 09:53 AM
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Re: Kimiko Date announces her (2nd) retirement

Japan's Kimiko Date calls time on career
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post #8 of 60 (permalink) Old Aug 28th, 2017, 09:54 AM
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Re: Kimiko Date announces her (2nd) retirement

aw this makes me sad, cause i really admired Kimiko as a person, wow so much respect i have for her

maybe she can still play matches in the retired players tournaments, they Always do tournaments like that as i can remember, all time greats like McEnroe, Philippoussis, Lendl still play pretty decent at their age

so Kimiko should really try to do certain tennis exhibits
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post #9 of 60 (permalink) Old Aug 28th, 2017, 09:54 AM
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Re: Kimiko Date announces her (2nd) retirement

At 46 I remember watching the semifinal in Wimbledon between her and Graf in 1996 when she was already an experienced player. If only I knew she would announce her retirement from professional tennis in 2017, remarkable.
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post #10 of 60 (permalink) Old Aug 28th, 2017, 09:56 AM
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Re: Kimiko Date announces her (2nd) retirement

I am sad. Bye "Granny" Kimiko.

From this well-developed statement though I conclude that it was the best decision for her.

Her tennis was so graceful and her return while being 39 years old served as a wonderful inspiration. She had such an illustrious career spanning 3 or even 4 decades. An exemplar of perseverance, longevity and love for sport.

Last edited by Perun; Aug 28th, 2017 at 10:18 AM.
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post #11 of 60 (permalink) Old Aug 28th, 2017, 09:59 AM
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Re: Kimiko Date announces her (2nd) retirement

Thank you for coming out of retirement Kimiko, you were a breath of fresh air, a unique player, in a time when all it looked like was a never ending stream of screaming ballbashers coming straight from a conveyor belt.

So glad she came back, I'll always remember that phenominal match she played under the roof against Venus at Wimbledon. The crowd were so enthusiastic and the net play from Date was as great as it ever was. The hand shake at the end said it all, real respect between both players. Venus has a habit of making sure her opponent looks her in the eye by holding on to their hand, she didn't need to this time.

RIP Elena Baltacha, thank you for dedicating your life to a sport we all love. You'll be missed but never forgotten.
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post #12 of 60 (permalink) Old Aug 28th, 2017, 10:02 AM
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Re: Kimiko Date announces her (2nd) retirement

Good bye to a true legend!

Kimiko's second career was very inspiring.

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post #13 of 60 (permalink) Old Aug 28th, 2017, 10:13 AM
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Re: Kimiko Date announces her (2nd) retirement


I hope she will find happiness in life after tennis, also I wish her a new relationship after her divorce.
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post #14 of 60 (permalink) Old Aug 28th, 2017, 10:17 AM
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Re: Kimiko Date announces her (2nd) retirement

I will never forget her match against Venus at Wimbledon when she was actually so close.
The same goes for that final in Osaka few years ago. She was so talented and even when entering her 40s, she was still able to play top 50 tennis.

Good luck in the future, Kimiko!

Olga Danilović
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post #15 of 60 (permalink) Old Aug 28th, 2017, 10:19 AM
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Re: Kimiko Date announces her (2nd) retirement

That was sad to read, but it sounds like this is the right decision.

All the best Kimiko and thanks for the memories!
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