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September 28, 2009

Kimiko Date-Krumm... The Most Remarkable Comeback

Kimiko Date-Krumm

Kimiko Date-Krumm, won the first title of her comeback and eighth tournament victory in her career on Sunday in Seoul, Korea over second-seeded, Anabel Medina Garrigues, 6-3, 6-3.  A day shy of her thirty-ninth birthday, and more than thirteen years after she won her last title and left the Tour, Date-Krumm showed that the talent and mental toughness

which led her to the semifinals of Wimbledon in 1996 have not disappeared over the ensuing years.  Kimiko is the second oldest player to win a title on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour (Billie Jean King captured a title at the age of thirty-nine).

In this era of towering power players, Date-Krumm’s tournament title also illustrates that you don’t have to be six feet tall (she’s only five foot four inches), or the hardest hitter to be able to win on Tour.  Kimiko also proved that with hard work and a strong body, a player can still become, and remain, fit even into her late thirties.  Andre Agassi and Jimmy Connors also played successfully into their mid to late thirties.  Being off the Tour for so many years may have also helped Date-Krumm avoid some of the wear and tear on her body that other players have experienced earlier.  

It appears that similar to Kim Clijsters’ recent inspiring comeback at the 2009 U.S. Open, the happiness and support that Date-Krumm has found in her personal life through her marriage to German race car driver, Michael Krumm, has provided Kimiko with the stability to not only pursue her tennis career again, but also to achieve this success.  In her “first” career, Date-Krumm reached as high as number four in the world.  Kimiko said that she would like to play for a couple more years and it will be fascinating to see how high she can climb in the rankings this time around…

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