Date farewell ends in double-bagel defeat
There was little room for sentiment as veteran Kimiko Date said goodbye to tennis at the Japan Women's Open.
Kimiko Date's farewell appearance at the Japan Women's Open ended in disappointment as she suffered a double-bagel first-round defeat to Aleksandra Krunic.
The 46-year-old, who retired in 1996 before making a comeback in April 2008, returned from a second knee operation in April this year and announced her home tournament in Japan would be her last.
However, the veteran – handed a wildcard after falling out of the world's top 1,000 – was little match for her Serbian opponent, who defeated the former world number four 6-0 6-0 in under 50 minutes.
"It's a great honour for me," said Krunic, who shared a warm embrace with a smiling Date after the match. "It's sad now, but I'm sure you're very happy with what you achieved and what is ahead."
Nao Hibino suffered a shock 6-3 6-4 loss to qualifier Miyu Kato, who is ranked 100 places below her Japanese compatriot.
Rounding off Tuesday's action, Magda Linette – a losing finalist in 2015 – saw off the challenge of home hope Risa Ozaki in a 6-1 7-5 triumph.