Kimiko Date returns to Wimbledon

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by thalivest, Jun 9, 2009.

  1. thalivest

    thalivest Banned

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  2. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    Didn't she give Graf a scare at Wimbldedon sometimes during the second half of 90s? I think I remember her,wow 38 years old,congrats to her.
     
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  3. flying24

    flying24 Banned

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    She had Graf on the ropes at Wimbledon 96 before they stopped play due to the light. Probably if the opponent is anyone other than Graf they continue play and do the 3rd set. They wanted to protect the champion Graf and allowing play to cease until the next day stopped Date's momentum when she was playing out of her mind, and allowed Graf to win upon resumption of play the next day.
     
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  4. flying24

    flying24 Banned

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    Yes she did. In 1996 she won the second set of her Wimbledon semi with Graf 6-2. After trailing 6-3, 2-0 she ran off 6 games in a row. Many of them long deuce games. Then play was called for the lack of light and they played the 3rd set the next day with Graf winning it 6-2 or 6-3 I believe to advance to the final (which she won). She also beat Graf that year in Fed Cup, 1 of only about 4 matches Graf lost that year. She beat Sanchez Vicario in the final to win a tournament that summer, and served for the match vs Sanchez Vicario in the Olympic quarterfinals before choking. She also had match point vs Monica Seles in the Tokyo quarters, another top player she had never beaten before that year. 1996 was her best year of tennis ever, following her 2nd and 3rd best years of tennis ever in 1994 and 1995, then she retired surprisingly in her mid 20s.
     
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  5. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    LOL,what a memory.Well,interested to see what she does.Maybe she can make some noise given that I think that very few WTA players can play on grass today.38 years is a bit too old though but given the state of WTA these days she could definitely win a few rounds,who knows maybe even more.
     
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  6. grafrules

    grafrules Banned

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    I would laugh if Date at 38 reached the semis or even better of a slam today, matching her best ever slam results as a 24-26 year old from 94-96. It would expose the pitiful state of womens tennis to its deepest core. I know that almost certainly wont happen but boy would I laugh if it ever did.
     
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  7. CEvertFan

    CEvertFan Hall of Fame

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  8. Warriorroger

    Warriorroger Hall of Fame

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    Her matches with Steffi were beautiful to watch, cause her style made Steffi come up with all sorts of magic shots. Just watched some on youtube.
     
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  9. boredone3456

    boredone3456 Legend

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    I always liked Date, she was a lot like Vicario in the sense that she was a fighter to the end and never gave up and I always admired that in her. While it is refreshing to see her return to Wimbledon, given how she lost in the first round of the Australian this year I don't see her really making an impact...maybe a win or 2 with the right draw. Anymore than that and as Grafrules said, it will just show how poor womens tennis is right now.
     
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  10. bluetrain4

    bluetrain4 Legend

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    Date hit hard and flat. I'm not sure how her strokes will match up with players today. On average, they hit harder, but are more inconsistent than in Date's era, with some obvious exceptions (Graf, Pierce, Seles).

    She is now Kimiko Date Krumm. Isn't her husband a race car driver or something?
     
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  11. Devilito

    Devilito Hall of Fame

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    meh, now if Graf got a wild car then we'd be talking. I'm more excited about clijsters comeback at the US Open later this year
     
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  12. CEvertFan

    CEvertFan Hall of Fame

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    The way Steffi was hitting the ball in the Wimbledon exhibition as well as her movement which is still great, she'd probably do rather well at the age of 39 if she decided to play some singles tournaments. Would be interesting to see for sure.
     
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  13. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    I would bet a good amount of money that with some serious training she'd reach quarters at Wimbledon and I seriously wouldn't rule out semis either.
     
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  14. grafselesfan

    grafselesfan Banned

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    Sure why not. I very much doubt at almost 40 she would beat the Williams on a fast court, even in their current shape. Actually at almost 40 she might have a shot vs Venus on rebound ace or clay, or Serena on clay, the way the sisters play those surfaces these days which is pretty sad. However at Wimbledon the others outside the past their prime but still unbeatable on grass Williams are so hopeless that returning as a 40 year old trained hard and ready she might have a shot vs anyone else if she avoided the Williams. A healthy Sharapova would also take her I am pretty sure, but how often do we see that these days. Against a 40 year old fully trained Graf players like Kuznetsova, Safina, Dementieva, despite grass being their worst surface might take a huge lead on Graf if they played at Wimbledon but then might self destruct with a horde of errors and double faults allowing Graf to make a big comeback and win. Well maybe Kuznetsova will change her stripes after this years French, who knows. Ivanovic and Jankovic a 40 year old Graf probably wouldnt need the assistance on grass.

    Anyway regarding Date she played very well in the exhibitions last year. She beat both Graf and Navratilova in her matches. Navratilova is over a decade older than both but has also been playing alot more serious tennis than both this decade. Date and Graf are almost the same age, Date had probably been training and getting in shape for her comeback anyway though. I always like her. I would like to see her win some matches at Wimbledon. Given the current weak womens field you never know. If she gets a good draw she could maybe win some matches and that would be a good achievment for her. She was probably robbed at Wimbledon 96 where they should have finished play that day. That isnt Graf's fault though, The All England Club always gives champions the benefit of doubt though.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2009
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  15. grafselesfan

    grafselesfan Banned

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    I think Date in her prime would do outstandingly vs the current field and achieve far more than she ever did in her own playing days. However she is almost 40 so that wouldnt be the case now.
     
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  16. Warriorroger

    Warriorroger Hall of Fame

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    It's no excuse, But Graf injured her shoulder during the Navratilova match and only played Date in order not to dissapoint the public. You can tell in the footage that she almost doesn't react in that match.

    As for the other poster giving Graf the edge on clay against Venus, I am not sure if Graf would prefer the clay. She loved pace from the other player and her home made technique was a great match up for powerful hitters. I think the reason why the power of Seles sometimes gave her trouble, because she was a lefty and for a righty protecting the backhand corner it is difficult.
     
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  17. lambielspins

    lambielspins Banned

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    It really doesnt matter whether or not Graf prefers clay. Venus is hopeless on clay so any decent player should beat her there, let alone any great one.
     
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