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Ageless Kimiko turns back time at Wimbledon

Modified 27 Jun 2013, 18:13 IST

The Championships - Wimbledon 2013: Day Two

Kimiko Date-Krumm set up a potential Wimbledon showdown with defending champion Serena Williams as the Japanese veteran defeated Romania’s Alexandra Cadantu 6-4, 7-5 in the second round today.

At 42, Date-Krumm is the oldest player competing in the main draw at the All England Club, but age hasn’t eroded her talent as she enjoyed her second consecutive straight sets win.

She is back in the last 32 at Wimbledon for the first time since her run to the semi-finals 17 years ago.

And the reward for Date-Krumm, who also reached the third round at the Australian Open in January, is a likely clash with world number one Serena.

Barring a major upset, Williams should brush aside French qualifier Caroline Garcia and give Date-Krumm a first career meeting with the five-time Wimbledon champion.

Cadantu is ranked just three places below world number 84 Date-Krumm and had shocked Austrian 28th seed Tamira Paszek in the first round.

But the 23-year-old was appearing in the second round of a Grand Slam for the first time.

In contrast, Date-Krumm was playing in her 104th Grand Slam match and competing at Wimbledon for the 12th time.

Date-Krumm enjoyed a fairytale run to the Wimbledon semi-finals in 1996 before suddenly announcing her retirement.


She returned to the tour 12 years later and enjoyed two notable landmarks, becoming the oldest player to beat a top-10 opponent and the second oldest to win a WTA Tour title when she triumphed in Seoul aged 38.

Date-Krumm took just 44 minutes to rout German teenager Carina Witthoeft in the first round and made the perfect start with a break in the opening game against Cadantu.

Cadantu looked to have control of the set when she broke twice for a 4-2 lead.

But Date-Krumm’s wealth of experience paid off as she clawed her way back into the match with a pair of quick-fire breaks, clinching the first set by winning four successive games.

Date-Krumm was broken at 5-4 when she served for the second set, but she recovered to take the next two games and seal the win.

Published 27 Jun 2013, 18:13 IST
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