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June 23, 2009

Kimiko Date Krumm


C. WOZNIACKI/K. Date-Krumm
5-7, 6-3, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Could you tell me a little bit about why you decided to return to tennis after 12 years.
KIMIKO DATE-KRUMM: Yes. My husband, he's from German, and he's also athlete. He's a racing driver, and he loves sports and he loves tennis. He love challenge. So after married, he always said to me that you should go back tour. You like tennis. Still you are fit, so you can do it. Just enjoy it. Nothing to lose.
So he push me very hard every day. And then last year in the match, I had exhibition match in Japan with Steffi Graf and Martina Navratilova. Then before the exhibition match I start to practice little bit half year. And then after exhibition match, I decide to continue to play and then come back to tour.

Q. Is it very different?
KIMIKO DATE-KRUMM: Yeah, now women's tennis is more speedy and more powerful. Of course, for me a little bit tough. Not a little bit (laughter). And then also the WTA and ITF is a big, big difference. Most time I playing in ITF tournament, and then when I come to WTA Tour, always it's tough, very tough.
So I need little bit more time. More I need to used. But still my ranking, it's little bit too low. Not enough time to compete to other WTA Tour players. But I enjoy the challenge. Even today I enjoy a lot, so it's good time for me.

Q. Do you sometimes think, Why am I putting myself through this?
KIMIKO DATE-KRUMM: After I retired in 1996, I enjoy my life. I spend with my friend. I enjoy my life. I married with my husband. I stay with him. All the time I went to racing, watching other sports.
I enjoy my life, but after few years later, I teach kids in Japan. I change my mind how good sports -- how good tennis is. Because when I was before a player, it was too much practice, too much traveling, too much pressure, so difficult to see how good sports.
So always win or lose, only traveling. After one week, traveling another city. Little bit too much, too strict, so I couldn't enjoy the tennis any more when I was player before.

Q. But you enjoy it more now?
KIMIKO DATE-KRUMM: Yeah, now I enjoy the traveling. I always my husband supporting me. So everything challenge, but I don't have not so much pressure. So everything I can enjoy.

Q. Tell us a little bit about today's match. What decided today's match, in your opinion? What was the difference between you and Wozniacki today?
KIMIKO DATE-KRUMM: Today my tactics is -- she have big weapon is hitting from here to here, so I try to use a lot of the slice and then I must to go net, chip and charge, and so don't hit little bit higher. Always how much she can hit lower, and then I think I had the chance.
And then until second set, beginning of second set, I think it's perfect for me. And then I felt little bit tired. And then the third set start little bit cramp. Then I couldn't move anymore. Then not enough deep or low, so I had a little bit problem. But until the beginning of the second set, it was perfect.

Q. How close did you come to winning the match?
KIMIKO DATE-KRUMM: Second set, if I have extra power, energy, I think little bit different story. But that time little bit not mental problem, it's little bit physical problem I had. So not tactics, not power, only my physical problem, yeah.

Q. People sometimes criticize women's tennis because they say it does not have enough variety, that it's just big hitting and power. The kind of tennis you played today was very different. What do you think of the way women's tennis is now? Does it need more variety to be more interesting?
KIMIKO DATE-KRUMM: Yeah, now women's tennis is everybody more taller, more powerful, more speedy. But tennis, my opinion, is more using the head, because I don't have not so much power and not tall, so always I must to use in my head.
So always I have to think, to don't -- now everybody, if people don't move, it's only, boom, it's finish easy. So today, especially on grass, I must use to more slice, slow, sometimes slow, and then I have chance to make open space more easy, more easier.
So if people has more net play or making the good approach and volley, tennis is more interesting.

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