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June 20, 2011

Kimiko Date Krumm


6-0, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How happy are you with that?
KIMIKO DATE-KRUMM: Of course I'm very happy because I win the Grand Slam since -- Wimbledon since 1996. For me, always a Grand Slam first round I play against seeded player most of time.
Today I play against wildcard player, and I know Katie since when I start play. We practice together many times, and then I play against her also last year in America - Cincinnati or somewhere - so I know her very well.
And then that's why I'm very happy to win today. I know how difficult to win the Grand Slam, the first round. So I just concentrate today and then I did, so I'm very happy.

Q. Were you surprised at how comfortably you won the first set? You only dropped six points in the first set.
KIMIKO DATE-KRUMM: Yeah, I play almost best today in first set. I was very focus the game, focus the ball, my serve was good, and then I don't miss not so much. I think it's perfect today since I don't know. Long time. This year maybe first time, yeah.

Q. The Wimbledon people tell us that you're the third oldest lady to win a singles game. Does that make you feel good or a bit sad?
KIMIKO DATE-KRUMM: Yes, it's good. (Laughing.) I don't care about the age, but of course it's very, very difficult continue the best condition all the time. And then every time after the match it's difficult to recovery the body.
And so even I'm oldest in number, third oldest women's, I think it's good for women's. And then just, yeah, keep going like that.

Q. Do you feel the same enthusiasm as - was it 25 years ago when you made your debut? Do you feel the same energy, enthusiasm?
KIMIKO DATE-KRUMM: Um, yes. Uh-huh, yes.

Q. Martina was 47, I think. Can you imagine you might go on until you're 47?
KIMIKO DATE-KRUMM: No. I think it's impossible. Still long ways, but not too far. (Laughter.) But still difficult I think, yes.

Q. You said it was 15 years since you last won a match here. What were your memories of that tournament? Would you say that was your best ever?
KIMIKO DATE-KRUMM: Of course I remember 1996 in the Centre Court I played against Steffi and it was darkness. I played two days with her. It was a big, big memory for me.
Then after 15 years I won the first round, and it's already miracle. So, yeah. (Smiling.)

Q. Katie said to us after the match that maybe she might be thinking about taking a break, about leaving tennis because she's not enjoying it. What advice would you give to her as someone that's taken a break and come back?
KIMIKO DATE-KRUMM: You know, it's very, very difficult. Tennis, it's -- we need of course technique and experience. Of course now we need speed, power. But of course it's many, many tournament coming every week, so mentally it's very difficult.
For me also this year it was very, very tough season in the beginning of the year. I was not bad, but I didn't have luck. Always I was leading and then lost, especially the Australian Open. I was leading 4-1 in the first round against Radwanska and I start cramp and then I lost. Then suddenly I couldn't win anymore.
And since, I don't know, since few matches I won the first round, but most of time I lost first round. So for not only me, other player also, for example Safina, and I don't know, many people happen like that. So even it's top 20 player, also happen like that. Kanepi also last year.
So it's mentally very, very difficult situation. So of course sometime people take the break and then suddenly change coach or change something, and then suddenly start winning again.
So I think sometimes it's better to take a break. And sometimes -- for me, I didn't take break. I just continue to play.
And then after clay court season finish, then I play doubles one weeks and then a little bit come back to my feeling. Then start a little bit getting -- working again.
So everybody just different. But mentally need to refresh I think.

Q. You've got an easy game next, yeah, an easy match against Venus?
KIMIKO DATE-KRUMM: (Laughter.) Yeah, first time to play against Venus. She's of course good player, especially on grass. I don't know how many times she won. More than five. Yeah, of course. (Laughing.)
So for me it's nothing to lose. Now I feel better than clay court season, so I'm just try continue to like today. I hope I can enjoy to play even I win or lose.

Q. May be back on Centre Court again.
KIMIKO DATE-KRUMM: Hopefully. Yeah, I like to playing on Centre Court, so hopefully, yes.

Q. How old were you when you switched from left hand to right hand in tennis? Because you're naturally left-handed, aren't you?
KIMIKO DATE-KRUMM: Yes. When I start to play tennis already I start play on the right hand. Because in Japan, always players to fix the right hand. And then just I pick up the racquet, so I just follow the other people. I didn't think about better to keep left hand, so just play...

Q. Can you play left-handed?
KIMIKO DATE-KRUMM: Little bit. That's why sometimes on the left side I can hit forehand a little bit. Because when I was 12 to 14 - no, 16 - my tennis coach, he told me -- after he knew that I'm naturally lefty, he told me, You should practice a little bit left hand.
And then between the practice time I went to the wall, and then until hundred time go hit, I cannot stop. Only I went to the wall and I hit hundred times every day, so that's why a little bit I can hit only forehand.

Q. How did you like the new Court 3? How was the atmosphere out there?
KIMIKO DATE-KRUMM: Yeah, it's beautiful. Nobody playing, so it was a good feeling for me. Then a little bit slippery. I felt a little bit slippery, but not only No. 3 court. I think it's because of the rain a little bit wet the inside.
So, yeah, it's not too big, not too small. I felt it's good. I think it's good, yes. For me it's good court maybe in the future also, because I win today. (Smiling.)

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