Osaka, 17 October 2010 | AP
Japan’s Kimiko Date Krumm remains on track to become the oldest player to win a WTA singles title, after beating Shahar Peer in the semi-finals of the Japan Women’s Open on Saturday.
Date Krumm, who turned 40 last month, broke third-seeded Israeli Peer to go up 6-5 in the third set before serving out for a 3-6 7-6 (7-5) 7-5 win.
“Considering my age and the years I was away from the tour, I would say this is a miracle,” said Date Krumm, who knocked out Australia’s defending champion Sam Stosur earlier in the tournament.
“I just hope that my physical and mental health will last one more game.”
Date Krumm’s opponent in the final will be another veteran – 33-year-old Tamarine Tanasugarn of Thailand, who upset second-seeded Marion Bartoli of France 6-2 7-5.
The oldest player to win a WTA singles title was Billie Jean King in Birmingham in 1983 when she was 39 years, 7 months and 23 days old.
Date Krumm and Tanasugarn are tied 1-1 in head-to-head.
The Japanese veteran has an 8-6 career record in finals while Tanasugarn is 3-7.
Date Krumm, who ended a 12-year retirement in April 2008, reached the third round of the Pan Pacific last month after beating defending champion Maria Sharapova and Daniela Hantuchova.