The big news this weekend? Kimiko Date Krumm won the Korean Open, beating second-seeded Anabel Medina Garrigues of Spain 6-3, 6-3.
Here are just a few reasons why this may be the most amazing comeback story in a year of amazing comeback stories:
- At 39 years-old (on Monday) Date Krumm is the second oldest female player to ever win a singles title on tour. (Billie Jean King was 39 years, 7 months, 23 days when she won at Birmingham, England in 1983.)
- This is her first title on the WTA tour since August of 1996, when she beat Spain’s Arantxa Sanchez Vicario at San Diego.
- Date Krumm retired from professional tennis at the end of 1996. She returned last year, after nearly 12 years away from the game. Now that’s a real retirement!
- Before this week’s Seoul tournament, Date Krumm hadn’t won a main draw singles match at the Tour Level since Monica Seles retired against her in the first round of the Year End Championships in November, 1996.
“Yeah, of course, very happy,” Date Krumm said after her big win. “I realized one more time after this game that we don’t know about tennis unless we actually play it.”
Shahar Peer also has her groove back, following up last week’s title win in Guangzhou, China with another one in Tashkent, Uzbekistan beating Akgul Amanmuradova in straight sets in the final. These are Peer’s fourth and fifth career titles, her last one coming over three years ago. She’s now gone 10 matches without dropping a set. After seeing her play some great tennis at the US Open this year (where she lost in the third round to Kuznetsova), I’m glad to see her building on her improving form and fitness. Keep an eye on her in 2010.
On the men’s side, Gael Monfils won the second title of his career this weekend in Metz, France, beating second seed Philipp Kohlschreiber 7-6 3-6 6-2. His first title came in Sopot, Poland all the way back in 2005. Since then, he’s been in six finals and has lost all of them. That’s a nice streak to break.
In Bucharest, Spain’s Albert Montanes beat Juan Monaco for the last ATP clay court title of the season (and his second of the year): 7-6 (7-2), 7-6 (8-6). By the way, do you know who has won the most matches on clay this year? Juan Monaco. (Click here for the stats) That would be impressive, except he hasn’t won a single title, clay court or otherwise, since 2007. Oh well, he can always look to Kimiko for inspiration.
This coming week the WTA sees Premier-level action in Tokyo at the Toray Pan Pacific Open. The ATP has two 250-level hard court tournaments, the PTT Thailand Open in Bangkok and Proton Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur.