In her heyday, Kimiko Date was regularly in the top 10, reaching a career high ranking of #4 during the era of Steffi Graf, Monica Seles and Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario before she retired in 1996. In 2008, she picked up a racquet again and made a relatively successful comeback, challenging a lot of top players, notching some good wins over them, and even winning a title in Seoul in 2009 as a 39-year-old.
Yesterday, Date-Krumm made history at the Australian Open. In the first round, she trounced the 12th seed Nadia Petrova by a very lopsided scoreline of 6-2 6-0! This win made her the oldest person to reach the second round of the Australian Open. She followed this up with another straight set win, this time over Shahar Pe'er, who reached her highest career ranking of #11 just two years ago. This win makes 42-year-old Date-Krumm the oldest person to reach the third round of any of the Grand Slam events since 1979. That she is winning over players who are ranked much higher than her and who are practically half her age is a testament to her resilience and durability. It also make me firmly believe that while players nowadays hit the ball harder than the athletes who played 10-20 years ago, good court smarts and precision still have a place in today's game.
Kimiko will be playing Bojana Jovanovski, whos is currently ranked 56. I'm hoping Date-Krumm can secure another win and get to the fourth round. Good luck, Kimiko!