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Date: No Coaching Plans


Kimiko Date closed the curtain on her playing career and has no plans to return to the pro tour as a coach.

The 46-year-old Date, who initially retired in 1996 and made a comeback in April of 2008, officially retired in Tokyo due to ongoing knee and shoulder issues.

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The former world No. 4 said coaching requires a different skill set than playing.

"Am I going to be coaching? This topic has come up a numerous times, even before I decided to retire," Date told the media in Tokyo. "Being an athlete, I’ve experienced firsthand and know what a tough job being a coach is. Depending on the age of the player, your coaching strategy is different.

"If I were to coach, I would have to learn a lot because playing is different from describing how to play in words to other people. At this point, coaching is not part of my future plans.”



The owner of eight career WTA titles said she wants to plant the seeds of future tennis growth in Japan.

Tokyo's Ariake Coliseum, which hosts the Toray Pan Pacific Open, will host the tennis competition at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

"So if not coaching, what do I want to do? When I look at Japan, the environment for the sport of tennis is not perfect," Date said. "The Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics are coming up so I believe the world of sports will change going forward, but it’s not just about the Olympic.

"We have Kei Nishikori who is one of the iconic men’s players and he is one pillar in tennis right now, but I want the sport of tennis to be much more deeply rooted in Japan, so that tennis isn’t just a tentative thing but a long-term established sport in Japan."

Photo credit: Getty Images

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