Sat, Jun 14, 2014 - Page 17 News List

Date-Krumm stops Hantuchova in tracks

AP, BIRMINGHAM, England

Kimiko Date-Krumm serves to Monica Puig at the WTA Aegon Classic in Birmingham, England, on Thursday.

Photo: AFP

Kimiko Date-Krumm, the 43-year-old Japanese who is the tour’s oldest player, halted Daniela Hantuchova’s title defense on Thursday to reach the quarter-finals of the Aegon Classic, a Wimbledon warmup event.

It was 18 years ago that Date-Krumm reached a Wimbledon semi-final. She proved an enduring grass-court threat by shortening the rallies and making her first serve count.

The most crucial phase of her startling 6-4, 6-0 success was the 10th game, in which Hantuchova made a push to recoup the early loss of a service game.

The seventh-seeded Slovak briefly refound the ground-stroking rhythm which Date-Krumm took away and earned one break-back point for 5-5.

Date-Krumm’s triumph followed a two-hour encounter and a lengthy doubles the previous day, and it was suggested that she must surely feel tired.

“I do, of course,” she said. “When I woke up my back was so tired, but I tried to move and do some stretching. My body is different from when I reached the Wimbledon semi-final, and so is my game — but I enjoy it more.”

She next plays not the second-seeded Samantha Stosur, but her Australian compatriot Casey Dellacqua, whose 2-6, 6-2, 6-2 win over the former US Open champion was the third in three meetings.

The departure of these seeded stalwarts increased a feeling that Sloane Stephens, the second-youngest player in the top 20, might take a significant step this week.

The 21-year-old Stephens has never reached a WTA Tour final, but her 7-6 (7/4), 2-6, 6-1 win over Alison Riske, a fellow American who has reached two semi-finals here, carried her within two wins of achieving that. The third-seeded Stephens next plays Zhang Shuai of China.

In the quarter-finals of the doubles, Taiwanese sisters Chan Hao-ching and Chan Yung-jan were defeated 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (7/5), 10-0 by third-seeded US duo Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears.

Additional reporting by staff writer

This story has been viewed 990 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top