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
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday said that he had called in the “third umpire” as he announced that recreational cricket would be allowed to resume next weekend. In a radio interview earlier on Friday, Johnson angered thousands of club cricketers by saying that the amateur game was still not safe to play amid the COVID-19 pandemic because of issues surrounding communal teas and dressing rooms. “It’s the teas, it’s the changing rooms and so on and so forth. There are other factors involved that generate proximity which you might not get in a game of tennis,” he said. Johnson had already
Hong Kong media reported that police briefly detained a man in a Liverpool team jersey who shouted “long live Liverpool” during anti-government protests on Wednesday, over suspicion that he was inciting independence. In-Media reported that the man was across the street from police officers who were conducting stop-and-searches on a group of protesters, when he shouted: “Long live Liverpool.” Others reportedly cheered and joined in the chant, before officers detained him. The man told In-Media that police had accused him of inciting Hong Kong independence, which now is a punishable crime. He said that he has been a fan of the English soccer
Indian police are investigating an alleged betting scandal in which a sham cricket tournament was held in an Indian village and passed off as a Twenty20 contest played in Sri Lanka. Players portrayed as Sri Lankan cricketers played two matches on Monday last week that were broadcast with live commentary on YouTube, media reports said, along with ball-by-ball coverage on top Indian sports Web sites. The organizers hung Sri Lankan advertisements at the ground for added authenticity and put up tents to block the view from outside the remote rural venue, set in farmland next to a busy highway. Police said that they
Raptors guard Fred VanVleet is already in Florida with the rest of his Toronto teammates, and he knows the time to take a stand and counter the NBA plan to restart the season has passed, but his opinion on the matter has not changed. “It sucks,” VanVleet said on Monday in a videoconference of his choice to return to the court during the COVID-19 pandemic and Black Lives Matter campaign. “It’s terrible timing, but that’s been 2020 for us. We all know the right thing to do is to not play, to take a stand. Morally, yes, that makes sense, but