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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.

kimikodate - Cropped
Kimiko Date says goodbye in Japan

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.

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