Date Krumm sails by Garrigues in final

Updated: September 27, 2009, 11:31 AM ET
Associated Press

SEOUL, South Korea -- Japan's Kimiko Date Krumm became the oldest winner of a WTA Tour tournament since Billie Jean King in 1983, beating second-seeded Anabel Medina Garrigues of Spain 6-3, 6-3 for the Korea Open title Sunday.

Date Krumm turns 39 on Monday. King was 39 years, 7 months, 23 days when she won at Birmingham, England.

"Yeah, of course, very happy," Date Krumm said. "I realized one more time after this game that we don't know about tennis unless we actually play it."

The title was Date Krumm's first in 13 years and eighth of her career. Formerly ranked No. 4 in the world, she quit tennis in 1996 before returning last year.

She beat top-seeded Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia 7-6 (3), 4-6, 6-4 in the quarterfinals and defending champion Maria Kirilenko of Russia 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 in the semifinals.

After needing only 1 hour, 27 minutes to beat Medina Garrigues, Date Krumm ran to the stands to embrace her race driver husband, Michael Krumm of Germany.

"Above all, my husband's love was a big help for my win," she said.

Medina Garrigues said she was satisfied with her week and praised Date Krumm.

"I'm really happy. Honestly, I arrived here with not a lot of confidence. To be in the final is a very good result," she said. "Kimiko plays very, very good."

Date Krumm won her last WTA title in August 1996, beating Spain's Arantxa Sanchez Vicario at San Diego.

The Japanese player said he was confident she can play professional tennis for at least a couple of more years.

"I think I won't have any problem in my physical strength over the next five years. But I'm married ... have to have kids and have a lot of things to do," she said. "I think I can play tennis for the next two years."


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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