Article On Kimiko 'Come Back Glory' - TennisForum.com
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old Nov 5th, 2009, 06:20 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 48,055
                     
Article On Kimiko 'Come Back Glory'

No Sell-By Date: Comeback glory at 39 for Kimiko

By Kamakshi Tandon



Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images
Date Krumm won Seoul a day before her 39th birthday to become the second oldest tournament winner in WTA tour history.

Even in a year crammed with comebacks by former world No. 1s named Sharapova, Clijsters and Henin, Kimiko Date Krumm has managed to stand out.
The Japanese veteran's title-winning performance in Seoul last month, acclaimed around the globe, came a day before her 39th birthday and made her the second oldest tournament winner in the history of the women's tour.

Her age may have been the headline grabber, but Date herself would say the most impressive thing about her return to the winner’s circle is that it came after almost 12 years away from competition.

"It's not about age, it's the break," she told TENNIS.com in an interview earlier this year.

In 1996, the former No. 4 surprised the tennis world by retiring at the peak of her career. Faced with increasing schedule requirements, Date called it quits, wanting to marry and settle down sooner rather than later. Then in April 2008, she just as unexpectedly decided to make a comeback (anyone could be forgiven for thinking she was Belgian).

Date was urged to resume playing by her husband, German professional car racer Michael Krumm, whom she met at the Le Mans car race in France after she had retired. (Krumm has said he had had his eye on Date ever since the mid-1990s, when he lived in Japan and raced for for Nissan.) After playing an exhibition against Martina Navratilova and Steffi Graf in early 2008, Date dipped her toe back in the competitive waters with a few minor league events in Japan, and after climbing steadily for a year and a half, has yet to find herself out of her depth. Winning in Seoul vaulted her into the Top 100 in the WTA rankings, where the youthful-faced Date doesn't look out of place even though the average competitor’s age is about 24. If anything, it’s her slight stature—she’s only 5-foot-4—that looks dated by the standards of today’s game.

Thirtysomethings everywhere want to know: how does she do it?

Date credits jogging and Pilates with restoring her fitness to a point where pro tennis once again seemed feasible, though a comeback was initially the furthest thing from her mind.

"When I stopped in 1996, maybe two years I didn't do anything," she said of her post-retirement life in Japan. "I just relaxed—I didn't travel any more, I stayed at home, I didn't want to pick up the racquet, I didn't want to see the tennis."

After some time, Date began giving kids tennis lessons, which forced her to "start moving" again. Soon she was hitting with friends, swimming and jogging—just once a week at first, and then three or four times a week.

Next came an invitation to play an exhibition match, a critical event in many a comeback story. Date practiced assiduously for a year and a half to prepare for the event, and decided she would also enter the doubles at the WTA Tokyo Princess Cup in 2002.

But then, a twist in the tale—quite literally. Date injured her ankle during her doubles return, and eventually required surgery to repair her right Achilles’ tendon. That set the chain of events back a few years, though the jogging Date did as part of her rehabilitation led to her running the 2004 London marathon in a more-than-respectable three hours, 27 minutes.

The performance proved to be a milestone. "After the London marathon I start more exercise than before," she said. "One hour running almost every day. Not so much [weight] training—just running, Pilates.

"When I was a player before I had always a problem with my shoulder, so I couldn't hit with full power. But after retiring, I did the Pilates exercises and now I don't have any problem with my shoulder."

And the rest is history—or at least some notable trivia. Date is the oldest WTA titlist since Billie Jean King won Birmingham in 1983 at 39 years and 7 months, and with plans to play for another two years, the evergreen Date has a shot at eclipsing King's record. She was 0-8 in WTA-level matches before her big breakthrough in Seoul, but is now almost certain to get direct entry into the Australian Open next season. (Date qualified for the main draw at the 2009 Australian Open, her first major since 1996, and lost in the first round to seeded player Kaia Kanepi, 8-6 in the third.)

Many of Date's opponents are too young to even remember having seen her play on television. Date recalled a match against Shahar Peer at the Japan Open last year, saying, "Shahar Peer, she [didn't] know me but her father knows me. She explained to me after the match, that 'My father told me you were in the Top 10 before.'

"Most times the coach speaks to me—‘Ah, I remember you.' But not so much players."

Date still plays a mid-1990s game, a relic holding its own against modern versions that are more advanced but still have a few bugs in them. She is not powerful by today's standards, nor does she bamboozle opponents with spins and slices. She simply hits the ball very clean and flat, and over the course of a match, her steadiness and intelligent placement can end up winning out against the streakiness currently so common on the women’s tour.

Date also feels that doing commentary for Japanese television during her retirement has given her perspective during matches. "The view is more wide, and I got the other side, not [just] the players' [viewpoint]," she said. "When I'm losing, I've watched many kinds of matches. I can say to myself, a game is a game, sometimes it happens. So I can control my feelings."

Off the court, she has shed some of the shyness and uncertainty of the past.

"When I was young, I didn't like so much traveling. My English was a problem; it was difficult to speak," she recalled. "No computer, no mobile phone . . . [being] outside Japan felt very far. But now it's very close and more easy to travel. [I'm] enjoying myself more."

But as much fun as she's having these days, Date thinks she'll be pulling the plug on her second career a little early as well.

"I think I won't have any problem in my physical strength over the next five years," she said after winning in Seoul. "But I'm married... I have to have kids and have a lot of things to do."
Noctis is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old Nov 5th, 2009, 06:28 PM
Senior Member
 
*Jool*'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Brittany, France
Posts: 48,709
                     
Re: Article On Kimiko 'Come Back Glory'

great one

Conchita MARTINEZ-Mary PIERCE-Lindsay DAVENPORT-Martina HINGIS-Serena WILLIAMS- and new legend Monica PUIG
Kata Srebotnik - Anabel Medina-Garrigues - Arantxa Parra-Santonja
Garbiñe Muguruza- Caroline Garcia- Polona Hercog- Kimiko DK - Eleni Daniilidou ...




*Jool* is offline  
post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old Nov 5th, 2009, 06:31 PM
銀の龍の背に乗って
 
TIEFSEE's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: 糸
Posts: 101,224
                     
Re: Article On Kimiko 'Come Back Glory'

how can you hate kimiko
please enter Bali SF


急げ悲しみ 翼に変われ
急げ傷跡 羅針盤になれ
TIEFSEE is offline  
 
post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old Nov 5th, 2009, 06:34 PM
Senior Member
 
*Jool*'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Brittany, France
Posts: 48,709
                     
Re: Article On Kimiko 'Come Back Glory'

yeah she really is a good , dedicated, athlete and sain person

Conchita MARTINEZ-Mary PIERCE-Lindsay DAVENPORT-Martina HINGIS-Serena WILLIAMS- and new legend Monica PUIG
Kata Srebotnik - Anabel Medina-Garrigues - Arantxa Parra-Santonja
Garbiñe Muguruza- Caroline Garcia- Polona Hercog- Kimiko DK - Eleni Daniilidou ...




*Jool* is offline  
post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old Nov 5th, 2009, 06:37 PM
Senior Member
 
BlameSerena's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: In the Clutch visiting S
Posts: 5,836
                     
Re: Article On Kimiko 'Come Back Glory'

Good read. Kimiko And she looks so young for her age.

I.M.S.
BlameSerena is offline  
post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old Nov 5th, 2009, 06:53 PM
Senior Member
 
frenchie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 11,219
                     
Re: Article On Kimiko 'Come Back Glory'

Kimiko is the most inspiring story of the year!

I follow her results very closely and find her game very refreshing

With her higher ranking now, I hope to see her more often on TV next year

Anastasia Myskina


Radwanska - S. Williams - V. Williams - Kerber
frenchie is offline  
post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old Nov 5th, 2009, 06:55 PM
Senior Member
 
sammy01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: England
Posts: 25,411
                     
Re: Article On Kimiko 'Come Back Glory'

im glad her comeback has been successful, i still remember those saying she wouldn't rewach the top 500

Anna Chakvetadze Rules

Kim Clijsters - Supporting the comeback!

I have no other faves, I just hate
sammy01 is offline  
post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old Nov 5th, 2009, 07:08 PM
Most Loved Member
 
Kworb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 11,179
                     
Re: Article On Kimiko 'Come Back Glory'

I love Kimiko

2016 saviors of the WTA

ANGELIQUE KERBER 63 75 DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA 60 60
LOUISA CHIRICO 60 60 IRINA-CAMELIA BEGU 63 62 KARIN KNAPP 63 67 60
Kworb is online now  
post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old Nov 5th, 2009, 08:13 PM
O R I O L E S
 
CrossCourt~Rally's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: ~Camden Yards~
Posts: 138,850
                     
Re: Article On Kimiko 'Come Back Glory'

She's an amazing woman . I hope she plays long enough to represent Japan at the 2012 Olympics
CrossCourt~Rally is offline  
post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old Nov 5th, 2009, 08:35 PM
.
 
Libertango's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 14,071
                     
Re: Article On Kimiko 'Come Back Glory'

She is wonderful, inspiring and beautiful.
THanks for the article!

Venus
Lucic
Halep
Kvitova
Libertango is offline  
post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old Nov 5th, 2009, 08:56 PM
Senior Member
 
Ferg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Petkoland
Posts: 13,128
                     
Re: Article On Kimiko 'Come Back Glory'

Kimi

________________________________________________
"I think if people ask, How is Marion Bartoli? They will always respond, She's a nice person. That's what I'm most proud of..
Ferg is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the TennisForum.com forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome