Placed in Tennis
Kimiko Date Krumm’s victory a week ago at the Korea Open, defeating the number 2 seeded Anabel Medina Garrigues for the title, was a sensational and awe-inspiring triumph.
Kimiko began her impressive comeback in 2008, twelve years after she originally retired – her best ranking on the WTA tour was in 1995 with rank 4. Now with this win, at 39, she becomes the oldest winner of a singles WTA title since Billie Jean King in 1983.
Last year I had a chance to play with Kimiko at an exhibition match in Tokyo and it was clear to see then, on the eve of her decision to return, that her play was characterized by a new ease and confidence which has obviously grown over this past season on tour.
As a few other women who have recently staged their own comebacks – Kim Clijsters, Lindsay Davenport, Mariana Lucic – can probably attest, returning to the world of elite athletics after even a short break requires tremendous commitment and perseverance. Moreover, given all of their family and professional obligations, one begins to appreciate just what sort of daunting task they have taken on. That they have managed to succeed so spectacularly is a great thing to watch.