Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Veteran Moves into Third Round; Date-Krumm, 42, Takes on Defending Champ Serena Williams Saturday

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Veteran Moves into Third Round; Date-Krumm, 42, Takes on Defending Champ Serena Williams Saturday

Article excerpt

LONDON * Kimiko Date-Krumm is one of the few women still on the tour that Serena Williams remembers watching when she grew up.

On Saturday, 17 years after Date-Krumm reached the semifinals at Wimbledon and 11 years after Williams won her maiden title there, the two finally play each other for the first time.

The 42-year-old Japanese star on Thursday became the oldest woman to reach the third round at the All England Club since the Open era started in 1968 by beating Alexandra Cadantu of Romania 6-4, 7-5. Her reward: a match against Williams, the defending champion and five-time winner.

"I watched her play when I was super young, growing up," said the 31-year-old Williams, a veteran in her own right who now plays one of those rare matches in which she faces someone far older than she is.

The American beat 19-year-old Caroline Garcia of France 6-3, 6-2 to extend her winning streak to 33 matches. To win a 34th straight, she expects to have to get through a lot of long rallies against an opponent more than twice the age of the one she just defeated.

"Doesn't matter how hard you hit it, she sees the ball and gets it back," Williams said. "She has great hands, a wonderful great volley, comes to net a lot, which on grass can be tricky. And she plays really flat too, so the ball stays really low."

Date-Krumm broke a record held by Virginia Wade, who reached the third round in 1985 at 39. According to the WTA, she is now the second-oldest woman to reach the third round of any Grand Slam in the Open era, after Renee Richards at the 1979 U.S. Open.

"I'm very happy to be in the third round, especially since I love Wimbledon and have many good memories here," Date-Krumm said. "I think it's amazing. I cannot believe it. But this year I skipped a lot of the clay court season so I could focus on the grass. And luckily this year I didn't play a seeded player in the first round because most of the time I did. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.