UTSUBO, Osaka Pref. – Kimiko Date Krumm failed to break Billie Jean King’s record as the 40-year-old lost in three sets to Thailand’s Tamarine Tanasugarn in the Japan Women’s Open final on Sunday.
No. 6 seed Date Krumm went down 5-7, 7-6 (7-4), 1-6 to Tamarine and was unable to rewrite King’s 27-year-old mark for the oldest winner on the WTA Tour at 39 years and seven months.
“I have to admit, I was starting to run out of stamina after the long rallies,” the former world No. 4 said.
Date Krumm dropped serve in the first game of the third set, and the veteran said Tamarine went on a roll from there.
“That switched her on,” Date said. “I allowed her to gain the momentum then and there.”
Date Krumm, who had bounced No. 1 seed Samantha Stosur and third-seeded Shahar Peer en route to the final, was trying to win her ninth title after capturing the Korea Open last year.
“It was my first and only chance since the Korea Open, probably,” she said.
“That I came this far might give me the strength to keep challenging in the future.”
The 33-year-old Tamarine captured her fourth career title. The combined age of the two players made it the oldest final contested in the history of women’s tennis.
“I tried to be more aggressive in the third set and I finally made it,” Tamarine said.
“Hopefully I can continue to play like this and get a good start to 2011.”