-   Blast from the Past (
-   -   Kimiko Date and Naoko Sawamatsu (

petite-dally Jun 12th, 2002 10:49 AM

Kimiko Date and Naoko Sawamatsu
I remember I always loved to watch those 2 great players some years ago.I Know Kimiko retired,but what about Naoko?I hadn't heard from her in a long time.
Maybe we can share here current news about them.Anybody knows what they're doing nowadays?
Did someone else enjoy their games so much as me?
Nobody seems to remember them and they were,specially Kimiko,2 of the best players of the 90's.
Please post here something about them.

Rising Sun Jun 12th, 2002 11:18 AM

Unfortunately, Naoko retired in 1998. :sad:

She does commentary now though. :)

Sadly, I never really got to see them play much.

anabel Jun 12th, 2002 01:20 PM

omg although i have always been so mad to Kimiko, cause she always defeated Conchita, i must admit Naoko was one of my favourite non spanish players!!

I remember the last match i saw of her, at the US Open'98 against Cristina :sad: I miss her.

Bероника Jun 13th, 2002 08:36 AM

Of course i remember them.They were both very sweet and i think japanese tennis has never been so high since those 2 retired.I liked them both,but always prefered Sawamatsu,don't ask me why.
About Kimiko i remember i read somewhere a coupla of things that really surprised me:1) she was the only top 10 player that didn't speak english and always travelled with a translator
2) she was naturally born a lefty but as it is ver bad for a woman in japanese society to be considered a lefty(????),she learned to play tennis with her right hand.Very curious,isn't it?
Anyway,thanks to petite-dally for bringing back the good memories about these 2 great tennis players.I wish they were still playing,they wouldn't be so old,would they?

anabel Jun 13th, 2002 12:28 PM

I checked and well Kimiko is 31 now and Naoko is 29, but they retired so young. Kimiko in 1996 at 26 years old and Naoko in 1998 at 25 :eek:

They could have played a bit more...

Rising Sun Jun 13th, 2002 04:34 PM

Kimiko is happily married now too. :)

I think that thing about her being left handed is a bit blown out of proportion. It's quite likely though she was brought up to be ambidextrous by her family.

There are Japanese players on tour that play left-handed, for example, Saori Obata. :cool:

Bероника Jun 14th, 2002 10:24 AM

Bероника Jun 14th, 2002 10:25 AM

Bероника Jun 14th, 2002 10:25 AM

Bероника Jun 14th, 2002 10:26 AM

Bероника Jun 14th, 2002 10:27 AM

Bероника Jun 14th, 2002 10:28 AM

louloubelle Jun 20th, 2002 12:37 PM

Date was a beautiful player to watch, her timing on her groundies was exquisite. Didn't seem to have that killer edge to push for a slam win unfortunately. BUT.... just remembering a Wimbledon match against Gigi Fernandez. Apparently Kimiko was upset with the rowdiness of Gigi's entourage and after the match finished (which she lost) she smacked a ball directly at them. Never could find out if she was accurate with her hit tho!!!!

Sawamatsu probably hit the ball the softest I have ever seen for a top 20 player. Michael Mewshaw the writer of the Ladies of the Court described her shots as 'coming back like a wounded canary'.
But her run to the Aus Open quarters one year was superb. Beating Mary Jo in rnd of 16, particuarly after her hometown of Osaka (I think?) was ravaged by an earthquake was emotional stuff. Her determination and consistency got her many fine wins and she learnt to push to the net despite her lack of power. I think her mum (or aunt) was a Wimbledon doubles Champ in the 70's with Ann Kiromyra.

bull Jun 21st, 2002 06:36 PM

Bероника Sep 20th, 2002 11:50 AM

Hi guys!
I just found some Kimiko pics.THey are from this week event in Tokyo,where she plays doubles.
Kimiko Date and doubles partner Miho Saeki are interviewed for NTV at the Welcome Reception

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