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May 27, 2015

Kimiko Date Krumm


DATE KRUMM-SCHIAVONE/Allertova-Cetkovska
2-6, 7-6, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. I want to ask you about your career, especially about Gabriela Sabatini, because you used to play her. She told us a funny story last time we talked to her. She told us that she was watching TV, and then suddenly one of your matches came and she's like, Oh, is she still playing? (Laughter.)
KIMIKO DATE KRUMM: Yeah, I don't see her long time. I think last time I saw her where?

Q. New York.

Q. After that.
KIMIKO DATE KRUMM: When was that?

Q. You made interview with her.
KIMIKO DATE KRUMM: Ah, yes. But that time I didn't play, so between 1996 to 2008. I met her only once. So I know some news from her. She has good business in the perfume. And I don't know. Something in Argentina. But I don't see her. Of course if she know I'm still playing of course was it's very surprise. Everybody think I'm crazy. (Laughter.) I miss her because we play many times. I want to ask what she think about I'm continue to play. (Laughter.) Yeah.

Q. Yes, of course. I'll ask her. What is the motivation that makes you keep going on after so many years?
KIMIKO DATE KRUMM: Yeah, of course the reason to my ranking dropped around 150 and then I don't win not so much. But I love tennis, I love sports, I like challenge, and I like competition. So even I don't win, but still I have -- yeah, sometimes difficult to keep the motivate, but when I was young I don't like not so much practice. I don't like not so much weight training. But now when I come back tennis I love practice. I think maybe too much. I like weight training also. So I'm enjoy very much. And especially on the tour now it's everything different. It's more easier and I'm enjoy to talking to young player. I'm enjoy life with tennis, yeah.

Q. Can you compare how important tennis was in Japan when you began your career and how important is it right now with top players such as Nishikori and how you saw the thing grow through the years? The interest is growing for tennis in Japan?
KIMIKO DATE KRUMM: No, better to ask another Japanese player. Now, you know, in '90s we had good player, I think ten player in the top 100 in the women's. Now not so much player in the top 100. Now it's males getting stronger than women. Yeah, of course it's Kurumi Nara; she's around top 50 so she playing very well. But if people playing tennis, everybody know Kurumi; but if not playing tennis, still not very popular in Japan. So compared to before, women's still not enough. Of course it's Kei Nishikori. He's very famous now. But the women, we have some more problem. Not strong enough; not popular enough. So I think compared to before it's different.

Q. When you started playing Shuzo Matsuoka was still playing. We westerners, in a way we see you like the first important Japanese players that made an impact on the tour in the last 30 years. What do you see changed in Japan, like training? Of course now Kei Nishikori is very famous and everybody is talking about Japanese, but how do you recall the evolution of tennis in Japan?
KIMIKO DATE KRUMM: Difficult question. Kei, he grew up in the States, so of course he's a little bit different story. And Shuzo also. Almost he not grow up, but his base was in the States. And then I never traveling, not so much when I was young. Kurumi also. She went to the States two years. Same foundation from the Kei supporting from Mr. Morita. But she went just one or two years and then have base also in Japan long time already. So of course when we are in the junior we have good result, but after junior we have big problem. For example, until last year, two years, three years ago, Morita, Ayumi, was No. 1 in Japan. She was in good in the junior, and of course she went to the top around 50, 40, 30. After always it's same -- for example, Ayumi same time as Wozniacki. [Sic] Same age as her. After few years after turn professional then she went to the top 10 easier. But every time in Japan juniors time was good, but after turn professional it's big gap. We have big gap. So we try to practice outside Japan. We trying everything. But my opinion, in Japan we have not so much red clay court, hard court. We have it's a very special synthetic grass with sand, and we grow up with this surface. So every time when we play in grass with sand, it's bounce very low. So for example, when we come to Europe we don't know how to play on clay - except Kei. This time we qualify seven or eight player, including me, but we all lost first round. So we don't know how to play. European people, they know how to play in the clay court. So one problem, it's a big problem, and it's court surface. But they never change. So we trying, but still we have many problem, I think.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
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