Ageless Krumm talks about then and now
- Navy officer dies on board INS Kolkata off Mumbai
- Subrata Roy to remain in Tihar, Supreme Court calls Sahara's proposal "dishonourable"
- Arvind Kejriwal stopped on way to meet Narendra Modi
- Modi's next round of Chai pe charcha doesn't have police permission yet
- SC issues notice to Centre on Kiran Reddy's PIL against creation of Telangana
Standing across the net from players half her age doesn't really bother Kimiko Date-Krumm. "I know that I hold a mental advantage over most of these young players. Experience is not something that I lack," she says. "But playing against girls who could be as old as my daughter is definitely a bit weird. I always ask opponents about their mother's age and not their own."
Date-Krumm is 42. She is the oldest player playing singles on the professional tennis circuit. The Japanese has truly personified the old adage of age being just a number. "I feel great. I can still play good tennis and for me that is enough," says Date-Krumm, who dispatched young Indian qualifier Rishika Sunkara 6-0 6-3 in her first round match at the Indian Open.
Date-Krumm made her debut on the professional circuit in March 1989 but quit seven years later, citing fatigue from constant travelling. She returned 12 years later, in 2008. Date-Krumm, who achieved a career-high WTA singles ranking of number 4 in November 1995, is presently ranked 146. Since her comeback, Date-Krumm has won a WTA title, three ITF singles titles along with a couple of doubles titles.
Date Krumm, who is married to GT1 2011 world champion racer Michael Krumm, says that it was her husband who really pushed her to make a comeback. "Michael used to tell me that he had enough of watching me play in exhibition matches," she says. "He wanted to see me on the circuit winning real titles."
Date-Krumm looks back rather wistfully at her first phase and says that the game then had a lot more variety. "There was Steffi Graf who was a great person apart from being a superb tennis player. Her serve was the biggest I have seen. Then there was Gabriella Sabatini who played in the classical Spanish style, with a lot of topspin. Monica Seles was really strong with her groundstrokes. Playing with those players was so much fun," she says.