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Date Krumm reaches first final since 1996

SEOUL (Kyodo) Kimiko Date Krumm reached her first WTA final in 13 years by upsetting defending champion Maria Kirilenko of Russia 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 at the Korea Open on Saturday.

The former world No. 4, who turns 39 on Monday, took the first five games of the deciding set but dropped the next four games before closing out the match.

“My body felt a little bit heavy early in the match. I just tried to stay focused,” Date Krumm said. “I have nothing to lose. She had pressure to win, I think.”

On Sunday, Date Krumm will play Spain’s Anabel Medina Garrigues, a 2-6, 6-3, 6-1 winner over Anna-Lena Groenefeld of Germany in the other semifinal.

It will be her first appearance in a WTA final since August 1996, when she defeated Arantxa Sanchez Vicario at the Toshiba Classic in San Diego for her seventh career singles title.