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By Chris Oddo

Kimiko Date-Krumm, 2013 Australian Open (January 14, 2013) -- Kimiko Date-Krumm will be 43 in September, but the former World No. 4 simply refuses to act her age on the tennis court.

For a professional tennis player, almost 43 is borderline brachiosaurus. Typcially, even the most resilient players are ten years retired by their mid-30's, but Date-Krumm doesn’t want to be the norm -- she wants to be the exception.

She is.

The first Japanese woman to ever to ever hold a top ten ranking became the oldest player to ever win an Australian Open main draw match when she defeated 12th-seeded Nadia Petrova of Russia, 6-2, 6-0 on Tuesday in Melbourne.

Even in the aftermath of another milestone for Date-Krumm, she remains grounded.

“I’m very happy to win today, but I don’t play for the records,” Date-Krumm told reporters afterwards. “Even when I lose, I still enjoy it.”

Krumm, who won her first Grand Slam match 23 years ago at the 1989 French Open, was already the oldest player to beat a top ten player (she’s broken that record twice now) in WTA history.

Now she’s got another claim to fame. Who knows, in five more years Date-Krumm might find herself atop the list below. It seems far-fetched, but Date-Krumm has been bucking the odds ever since she came back to tennis after an 11-year hiatus in 2008.

Here are the five oldest players to ever win a Grand Slam match.

1. Martina Navratilova, Wimbledon 2004, 47 years, 235 days
2. Renee Richards, 1980 U.S. Open, 46 years, 6 days
3. Renee Richards, 1979 U.S. Open, 45 years, 8 days
4. Berry Pratt, 1968 U.S. Open, 43 years, 133 days
5. Kimiko Date-Krumm, 2103 Australian Open, 42 years, 109 days


(Photo Credit: Reuters)

 

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