Kimiko Date-Krumm of Japan celebrates defeating Shahar Peer of Israel during their women's singles match at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne, Jan 17, 2013. [Photo/Agencies]
MELBOURNE - Japanese veteran Kimiko Date-Krumm continued her winning trip at the age of 42 after beating Shahar Peer of Israel 6-2, 7-5 on Thursday.
Date-Krumm, who is 17 years elder than former world No 11 Peer, won Thursday's match in straight sets and advanced to the third round of the Australian Open.
An early break in the first set proved to be the perfect start for crowd favorite Date-Krumm. The diminutive Japanese chaser is a master at turning her opponent's pace on her.
She did this to perfection in the seventh game as she effected yet another break to comfortably take the opening set 6-2.
The second set was more of an arm wrestle as Date-Krumm and Peer traded breaks with alarming regularity. In all there were seven breaks of serve for the set as the sun beat down on the players.
"I was leading 3-0, then she came back 4-3 up, and then I had the big pressure," Date-Krumm said.
"It was a big challenge for me because my body, after when I was leading 3-0, suddenly something big and strong on my back or something happen, and I felt so heavy my body and I couldn't move. But I tried to push myself."
Despite Peer getting the second set back on equal terms, Date-Krumm played a stunning crosscourt backhand winner,which was the final treat for the loyal crowd who braved the heat to watch the match on Court 6 and Date-Krumm didn't disappoint, closing out the match to keep her dream alive.
Date-Krumm took her first Australian Open victory since 1996 on Monday by upsetting No 12 seed Nadia Petrova. Today's victory made her the second-oldest women to reach the third round of a Grand Slam at 42 years, 111 days, just after Renee Richards, who was 45 years, 8 days old when she reached the third round of the US Open in 1979.