Beautiful pictures, thanks for sharing Bull. Goodluck in your semi tonite too!
Jan 5th, 2002, 11:08 AM
I hardly recognized her-she looks so skinny! Good for Kimiko.
The game hasn't been the same since she left, and no Asian male or female has yet to go as far in tennis as she did.
Jan 5th, 2002, 12:45 PM
Wow...she looks really beautiful! I'm sure the Japanese press must have gone crazy during her wedding day...
yes...she's probably one of the most - if not the most successful Asian player of the 90s. Reaching the semis of AO and Wimbledon and RG. Not sure about USO but i'm sure she's reached the QFs or better...
Jan 5th, 2002, 12:55 PM
Thanks a lot for those pictures! I was wondering what Kimiko has been up to lately... she looks VERY different! She was always one of my favorite players to watch and she is, as many have said, one of the most successful Asian players ever. I think she retired too young.. she was 26 I believe. Oh well... Anyway, congrats to Kimiko and Michael! :D
Jan 5th, 2002, 02:19 PM
OMG~! She is so beautiful! :D
Congrats to her.... what agreat couple! .... rich and beautiful - what more could you want in life?! ;)
Jan 5th, 2002, 02:38 PM
some more pics
Jan 5th, 2002, 02:42 PM
and one more
Jan 5th, 2002, 04:46 PM
I'm so pleased for her! The pictures are gorgeous... thank you!
Jan 5th, 2002, 08:19 PM
I'm so happy for Kimiko, I just wish that she could come back though! LOL! The weird thing was, even with all her achievements she was playing tennis on her "unnatural" side. She's left-handed but the Japanese Tennis Federation made her play right handed! How weird is that, if she had played left-handed would she have been more successfull....*twilight zone music playing*...LOL :D CONGRATS TO KIMIKO AND HER HUSBAND!! :)
Jan 5th, 2002, 09:40 PM
the left/right playing hand thing...probably a traditional thing...
i have to say she's looking even prettier these days!!! thanks for the photos!!!
Jan 5th, 2002, 09:47 PM
They're beautiful pictures. Kimiko looks great, and is hopefully enjoying her life out of tennis. Her new husband looks great too... they make a really lovely couple.
Indeed, thanks for sharing.
Jan 5th, 2002, 10:12 PM
Japanese society is changing, but the bias against lefties has a long tradition around the world. Numerous players were natural lefties and "forced" to change, including grand slam champ Mo Connolly.
Still, the bias is strong in Japan. When I taught there in 1988, my students gasped the first time I wrote on the board. Rollo is a lefty, ya see. In the past left-handed students who hadn't been "switched" by their parents(often by slapping the offending hand or tying it so it can't be used) by grade school were "encouraged" to write right-handed by teachers. The intensive nature of the Japanese writing system demands imitation, and students often learn by having the teacher's hand placed directly over their own. This is all easier if both teacher and student are using the same hand.
This carries over into tennis. Form(and conformity) are everything.
I was lucky to have a tennis teacher at the club I joined who was left -handed. The ONLY time you could tell he was a lefty was on the court.
Things were changing then, and my guess is lefties have it easier now. At least in Kimiko's case we got a unique style of tennis, with two forehands!:)
Jan 5th, 2002, 10:20 PM
Ah yes, I remember Kimiko would occasionally switch from a right handed forehand to a left handed forehand when the ball was hit too wide for her backhand ;) Me, I've always played sports left-handed but I write right-handed (weird isn't it?).
One memory I have of Kimiko is 1996 wimbledon... she nearly had Graf on the ropes in the semifinals before a rain delay. Then she retired a few months later. :(
Oh well, good to see she is enjoying her life out of tennis! :bounce:
Jan 5th, 2002, 10:26 PM
Kimiko was a slow starter(like Chris Evert)-many felt the one day rain delay killed Date's momemntum in that Wimbledon semi. Earlier in 1996, Date beat Steffi 12-10 in the third at home in Japan to upset Germany in Fed Cup. THAT must have been some match!
Congrat to Kimiko:wavey:
Jan 7th, 2002, 04:36 AM
rollo, that is really a disppointed match for fans of kimiko. in the second set, she totally changed to another person. she was so fast that almost can reach every ball that graf hit! i think the decision the director made due to darkness (i don't think it is dark) changed the result later...
as a left-handed or right-handed thing, due to japanese tradition, it's nothing more to talk about. and also kimiko didn't take it seriously when she was a child. Vanity, i never pay attention to her switching hand playing. that must be interesting:)
i am happy to see kimiko enjoy her life now. got married and traveled around the world. most meaningful thing for her is that teach kid play tennis maybe not teach just let them get interested in tennis. she made a great effort on the tennis. everyone will remember her!
really wish her have a wonderful life :D
Jan 7th, 2002, 04:54 AM
Such wonderful news :) and she looks so happy :)
But I can't help but feel a little sad, she's not at all how I remembered her! I think we miss her more than she misses tennis! LOL! :D
Good luck to both of them :)
Jan 7th, 2002, 05:03 AM
The last few years haven't robbed Kimiko of her beauty I see :).
That Michael is a lucky man as well as being a wise one.
Jan 7th, 2002, 05:06 AM
Vanity, i never pay attention to her switching hand playing. that must be interesting
It was pretty interesting :) I remember the first time I saw it, I was like *whoa!*.. heh.. she wasn't a true no backhands player like Evgenia Koulikovskaya though. She was always very fun to watch and I think had the 96 wimbledon match vs. Graf not been delayed, she could have pulled it off. My guess is that if she did, she would have at least spent another year or two on the tour.
But I can't help but feel a little sad, she's not at all how I remembered her! I think we miss her more than she misses tennis! LOL!
You are completely right.... this is how we would have remembered her:
Might as well turn this into a Kimiko Date thread! Here are pics of Kimiko after that dramatic 7-6, 3-6, 12-10 win over Graf in Japan against Germany:
Kimiko Date and a young Ai Sugiyama:
A player who rarely shows emotion, Kimiko shows her happier side during practice:
Jan 7th, 2002, 07:02 AM
Kimiko's last public appearance in Japan as a WTA professional: (held on Oct. 6, 1996)
Jan 7th, 2002, 07:11 AM
WOW! What a great thread...thanks for keeping us posted on her whereabouts! The pics look just like you were invited to the wedding and took the pictures yourself! LOL....thanks again!
She looks great by the way!
Jan 7th, 2002, 07:12 AM
She was so beautiful! Come back Kimiko! COME BACK! :sad: :sad: :sad:
Why would anyone so perfect and succesful retire at 26?
Probably the most missed player on the board! ;)
Thanks for the pics! :D
Jan 7th, 2002, 07:18 AM
Kimiko was my favorite player behind Steffi Graf. I was shocked when she announced her retirement, she just seemed to be reaching the next level that could take her to the top and she just quits.:(
but it's great to see that she seems very happy and things are going well for her. :D
I hope she continues to enjoy her post tennis life. :bounce:
Jan 7th, 2002, 07:31 AM
OMG! I miss Kimiko so!:( Thanks for the pics everyone!!! BTW what tournament did Kimiko and Ai win?:confused:
Jan 7th, 2002, 07:35 AM
I looked closely at the trophies and I'm pretty sure it's the Japan Open.
Jan 7th, 2002, 07:35 AM
I think they won the Japan Open 1996 Doubles title. It's hard to remember it was awhile ago.
Jan 7th, 2002, 07:37 AM
Yes it says the Japan Open!:D Thanks guys!:)
Jan 7th, 2002, 06:15 PM
so that everybody gets to see this wonderful thread :)
Jan 7th, 2002, 06:56 PM
Yeah, seeing some of those pics definitely make me wish that she'd carried on playing just that bit longer, so I could've gotten a chance to have really great memories from her time as a pro (rather than just faded ones).
Jan 7th, 2002, 09:43 PM
What an elegant classy person she is! Thanks for the photos.
Jan 8th, 2002, 12:10 AM
She looks stunning but she's always been beautiful.
Congratulations Kimiko! I miss you on the courts.
Jan 8th, 2002, 07:19 AM
she is gorgeous :D and her husband is handsome as well but I am a bit surprised that she only got married last year coz some said she should have been married at the year she retired with a famous footballer?
Jan 8th, 2002, 07:40 AM
:rolleyes: @Miranda....you were drinking again Miranda?:D
Jan 8th, 2002, 08:00 AM
yes that's true. some said that in order to marry a actor, kimiko retired at her peak time. and when she met her husband in France, she still got boyfriend. so nothing happened between them at that time. one year later, kimiko and michael fell in love in japan! :D
Jun 22nd, 2002, 01:08 AM
Does he speak Japanese or did she learn English? Just wondering..
Jun 22nd, 2002, 02:04 AM
Thanks Gallofa! Since wimbledon's coming up it's great to remember such memories..and indeed I will have to look for that Graf-Date match to watch over again. ;) Here was Kimiko's results at 1996 Wimbledon: