• Kyodo


Kimiko Date will play 78th-ranked Serbian Aleksandra Krunic in the first round of the Japan Women’s Open.

The draw was announced on Saturday.

Wild card Date, who is retiring for a second time after the Sept. 11-17 event at Tokyo’s Ariake Tennis Forest Park, will be playing Krunic for the first time at a WTA Tour event.

The 46-year-old Date, a former world No. 4 who retired once in 1996 and returned to competition in April 2008, last week announced she was quitting for good. She wrote on her blog that knee and shoulder pain had prevented her from playing her best.

Also in the draw, sixth-seeded Naomi Osaka, at No. 45 Japan’s highest-ranked female player in the world, will face compatriot Kurumi Nara, while Nao Hibino will play a qualifier.

In other matches, Risa Ozaki encounters Poland’s Magda Linette, Misaki Doi plays a qualifier and Misa Eguchi faces China’s Han Xinyun.

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