You go girls !!!! :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce:
Sep 1st, 2002, 10:56 AM
Sep 6th, 2002, 04:14 AM
Sep 6th, 2002, 10:32 AM
Good luck to Date and Miho :):)
Sep 11th, 2002, 10:59 PM
Kick some asses Kimiko - Now if only she could enter some doubles tournaments with Amélie!
Sep 11th, 2002, 11:12 PM
Good Luck Kimiko!
Sep 12th, 2002, 02:47 AM
Good luck girls!::hearts:
Sep 14th, 2002, 11:14 AM
Good luck Team SeaDate! ;)
Sep 15th, 2002, 10:30 AM
Come on Kimiko ,and err..Miho.
Ganbatte Kudasai!!!! :)
Sep 18th, 2002, 05:46 AM
Gotta give a helping hand to Kimmie, kimiko date that is.
I guess kimiko and Miho are playing on Thursday with
Cara Black a tad jet lagged from arriving in from Hawaii
about 8 1/2 hour by plane.
Sep 18th, 2002, 07:52 AM
sorri guyz but i started liking tennis in 1997 and like i was still 8 back then so like i don't realli know wat date accomplished, can u guys plz tell me? fanx
Sep 18th, 2002, 04:12 PM
Oh Vert, where should I start... :)
Kimiko Date is a tennis heroine. She was just fantastic.
A natural talent if there ever was a natural talent on
the WTA. She was a leftie that played as a right hander.
Got it? She really didn't have a weak backhand because
that was actually her "real" forehand.
Kimiko got as high as number 4 in the WTA rankings.
She didn't play much tournaments a year either.
Just the grand slams, and the Tier 1 or Tier 2
events in Australia, USA hardcourts, Japan events,
1 clay , a couple in Germany, and the year end championships.
She didn't like to travel! LOL.
Anyway, what made Kimiko Date so great was her
fantastic approach to fearless tennis. She was just
incredible in coming back from a losing position. You
just never got the feeling that she thought it was over.
Really. I'm not kidding.
The notable thing about Kimiko was her utter charm,
and grace. She was just pure class. It's difficult to
imagine someone like that nowadays because everyone
on tour is kind of some other kind of trip; but Kimiko
was very, very charismatic.
Now don't even bother to relate Kimiko Date to
Ai Sugiyama, because their both Japanese. It's like
night and day. Really. I think if we talk about the
great players who never won a grand slam that
should've. It would be Kimko Date, and Mary Jo
Fernandez. Steffi herself thought Kimiko was going
to win a slam soon, and couldn't believe that she
retired the very year they met in a SF at WIMBLEDON
I guess if you combine the sort of interesting and
good parts of Hingis, Henin, Daniela, Van Roost
and Dokic - you come up with what made Kimiko
Date loved around the globe. The height of the
WTA's fame internationally can be linked up to
Kimiko Date. Kimiko took the WTA out of the
USA, Western Europe, South America, and
CommonWealth countries historical stronghold.
Sep 18th, 2002, 05:46 PM
why did she retire if she was doing so well and almost about to win a grandslam?
Sep 18th, 2002, 07:45 PM
She said she felt she couldn't improve anymore (at the age of 25!). It's a shame because she had the ability to turn players power against them.
Sep 18th, 2002, 07:51 PM
Sep 19th, 2002, 01:40 AM
Well..it was 3 things mainly..
1) The change in the rankings system
to one that awards people playing more
tournaments then winning them.
2) She didn't like to travel.
3) The power players started to come aboard,
and thought the game was changing (Sorry
Kimiko; but you were a couple of years too
early to say that)
4) The Steffi defeat at WIMBLEDON 1996 really
mentally crushed her. The whole career in
Kimiko's mind came crashing down.
Now we have to remember that back in the 1990's
Kimiko was virtually on her own. Her English wasn't
that good, and she used an interpreter alot. Kimiko's
coach was from Japan- and spoke Japanese. I think
touring was really difficult back then.
*If Kimiko stayed ,and retired in 1997- who knows.??
She certainly could've taken the Australian Open title.
Remember Steffi, and Monica weren't playing too often
due to injury etc... Kimiko would've changed the
look of alot of Tier 1 tournaments QF's ,SF's, F's.
Sep 19th, 2002, 01:58 AM
Great thread, folks. I have, and always will be, Kimiko's #1 fan. :) I am still saddened that she retired when she did.
Now, to address a point that mauresmofan made: Kimiko had the ability to turn her opponent's power against them. In all honesty (and I am not kidding here) many players currently on the WTA tour who are having problems with power players (eg, Hingis) would really benefit from looking at some old tapes of Date's matches. The more pace that was used against her, the more pace she would return (by redirecting the ball with a short, flat movement, that rocketed the ball back *much lower, and much deeper* than her opponent's shot.
So why wasn't Date a top 3 player? #1, mainly: she was a very, very slow starter. Her Wimbie SF against Graf was a perfect example: she came out kind of slow, but then switched modes and suddenly Graf could barely win a point against her.
And I have to disagree with Greenout: the SF loss to Graf did not devistate her, IMO--she lists that as her #1 achievement (along with her defeat of Graf in Fed Cup). If anything, the 1st round loss at the 96 US Open to Kim Po probably hurt her more--she had just come off an amazing tournament win (CRUSHING ASV in the 3rd set of the final, 6-0), and she was one of the favourites there (even Bud Collins picked her to win the whole thing).
Just my two cents. :)
Sep 19th, 2002, 02:20 AM
Hi Darkcore- I was told the "devastated by Steffi"
anecdote by alot of Japanese nationals that I had
the pleasure to work with in the office. They always
mention the Steffi 96 Wimbledon SF as the match
that made her re-think the tennis career.
If we had the Sports psychologist on board the WTA
tour back then in the 1990's like we do today- I doubt
Kimiko would've retired. I also positive that Jana's
Wimbledon title would've come quicker too. :)
Sep 19th, 2002, 05:37 AM
I was so devastated, the first time I got see my love Kimiko was during the 96 Open. She played Kim Po as you mentioned above DarkCore, I was so excited. And she got killed. My camera had broke so I didn't get to take any pictures. And then she retired!!! i was so upset
Sep 19th, 2002, 07:35 AM
Hi all, i am a big fan of Kimiko Date. I have a tape of her playing against Steffi in 96 Fed Cup, boy she was a stubborn competitior, she was 0-5 down in first set and she saved 5 set points to win the set (the point someone made about slow starter is absolutely right) she lost the second set and was leading 5-4 in the final set and has a match point, Steffi saved it with a superb rally and they go back and forth for ages, and steffi leads 8-7 on serve but Kimiko fought back with some inspirational tennis and get back to 8-8 in teh end she previail in 12-10 against steffi, out of all the tapes I have whoich has about 20 classic and famous matches recently, this is the highest quality, true the crowd in Fed Cup help her a lot but that match prove to me that she can beat powr player, she feed off power and really hit the ball so flat that it doesn't has to be fast to be a winner, I don't think we will see a player of Kimko calibr in asia any time soon unfortuneately
Sep 19th, 2002, 10:20 AM
OH MY GOD!!
Has the match begun yet? Go Kimiko/Miho!!
Sep 19th, 2002, 10:33 AM
I've been pondering this-ok I was bored today.
Which current player can best describe Kimiko Date
to the post Martina Hingis generation of tennis
Well....Kimiko was a sort of a combination of
natural all court player like Hingis, yet kept on
the baseline like Dokic, and hit hard and flat
like Van Roost, relentless like Leyton Hewitt
to opponents no matter how hard they were
hitting the ball, and sort of moved a bit like
Jelena Dokic, with the sort of quiet determination
and grace of a Daniela or Justine.
Kimiko wasn't a grunter either. Didn't seem to
question line calls, rather stoic I recall. She wasn't
one to pout, get upset or throw tantrums either.
Sep 19th, 2002, 10:50 AM
I think Dokic is probably the best description for Kimiko the way I see it, she hit it very flat and although her shot is not exactly artistic, it is very efficient on both wings, as I said, she doesn't overpower players but she does utilise a lot of her opponent power to her favour, kind of like if you hit a hard forehand to her she will return it harder, if you just junk a ball to her, most likely she will junk a ball bad. also surprisingly, she doesn't hit that many UFs either, something I still trying to work out why coz she is not that althletic
Sep 19th, 2002, 10:55 AM
It funny because Kimiko use to give Conchita
a hell of a time; but she seemed to be on the
losing end to ASV. It was ASV's super foot speed
wasn't it? I don't think it was the topspin that
bothered Kimiko as much.
Sep 19th, 2002, 10:59 AM
RIght.. ASV was a quick starter back in
the 90's. ;)
Unlike Jelena, Kimiko could go forward to
the net. She had good volleys.
Sep 19th, 2002, 11:03 AM
Oh yeah, i always wonder what grip Kimiko, has , doesn't really looks like semi-western grip msot people adopt now, maybe someone can tell me.
She also seems very calm on court and needless to sy, she is extremely popular in Japan, I think everyone treat her as a heroine after she single handedly beat Germany to advance to semi of Fed Cup 9bare in mind at that time Germany has a dream team, world no.1 Steffi and no.5 Anke huber) No one could have thought Germany would lose apoart form maybe losing to US or Spain.
I also wodner why Japan has not able to produce someone of Kimiko caliber yet, Ai is close but maybe too inconsistent to consider her.
Sep 19th, 2002, 11:05 AM
I think she has a hard time to ASV, coz at that time ASV is not exactly a junk baller, yeah compare to Steffi she certainly junk many balls, but I realise that she can be pretty agressive when needed as well. Conchita use a lot of spins and variety to her favour, very different style if you ask me
Sep 19th, 2002, 11:07 AM
I guess it's like how there's no new Steffi in
Germany, Gabi in Argentina or ASV/Conchita
in Spain. I think players of this high caliber are
just freaks of nature, and come around only
once every so often somewhere on the globe.
The thing with Kimiko I believe was that whole
leftie learned to play as a rightie thing. How many
people are there that can play tennis as a left hander,
and re-learn on a pro level in the WTA or ATP in Japan
or any other country for that matter?
She didn't have a weaker wing to break.
Sep 19th, 2002, 11:08 AM
(1) Cara Black/Elena Likhovtseva (ZIM/RUS) d (WC) Kimiko Date/Miho Saeki (JPN/JPN) 63 ret (Date retired with a left achilies injury)
poor Kimiko :sad:
Sep 19th, 2002, 11:11 AM
Oh really. Oh Sh*T. I am sooo bummed.
Sep 19th, 2002, 11:11 AM
Ohh... first match and injury?
Sep 19th, 2002, 11:19 AM
Are you really sure Lin? Where did you get
this information from. My Kimiko Date return joy
has come to an unlucky end. :(
Sep 19th, 2002, 11:21 AM
It's from Sanex WTA Tour...
Sep 19th, 2002, 11:39 AM
she was just so classy, one of my favourites. elegant, polite, reserved.
i think she had a great schedule of tournaments trying not to ply too many events and peaking at the right time. she was playing like 12-14 events, three of which in tokyo!!!
i was told that she did speak english but wanted to use a translator just to keep some distance from the media. also that she hated to travel so much that she cried the whole time during her first flight to the us. i think she only ate at japanese restaurants while she was at tournaments.
she could have won much more, she should have definetely won wimbledon in 1996 and also the last event she played in tokyo she lost to seles after having a few matchpoints.
she inspired a whole lot of japanese players, there were like 8-10 in the top 100.
sugiyama probably felt the pressure to follow in date's footsteps but you can't really compare the two.
Sep 19th, 2002, 11:50 AM
Poor Kimiko, the years of non-activity make her prone to injury, I hope this is not the last time we see her play