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Line calls: an oldie but a goodie (or two)

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Originally published on: 27/09/10 17:05

If life really does begin at 40, Kimiko Date Krumm has certainly made the most of the preamble. The Japanese veteran has seen out her 39th year in storming style with a hard-fought 7-5 3-6 6-3 victory over Maria Sharapova in front of a rapturous reception in Tokyo.

MaSha, the defending champion, now faces a drop outside of the top 20 in next week’s rankings. To be fair, Kimmy’s a former champ too – she won it in 1995. When Sharapova was eight.

“It’s incredible,” admitted Sharapova. “It just shows you how she has stayed in such great shape while away from the game. She is incredibly fit.”

And KDK’s not the only one flying the veteran’s flag: this week sees the rankings return of none other than former world No.1 Thomas Muster. The Austrian, who racked up 44 titles before stepping away from the ATP Tour in 1999 to ‘think about his future’, has been back on the Challenger circuit for a few months.

And now, at the fifth tournament of asking, he’s picked up a solitary win that puts him back on the ATP rankings list. Hats off to the 42-year-old, now clocking in at No.988 in the world.

What just happened?

Open de Moselle, Metz: Gilles Simon def. Mischa Zverev (q) 6-3 6-2
BCR Open Romania, Bucharest: Juan Ignacio Chela def. Pablo Andujar (q) 7-5 6-1

Korea Open, Seoul: Alisa Kleybanova def. Klara Zakopalova 6-1 6-3
Tashkent Open, Uzbekistan: Alla Kudryavtseva def. Elena Vesnina 6-4 6-4

Between the lines

She may be going AOWL in Asia, but it looks like Serena’s readying herself for the comeback. According to reports, the world No.1 has applied for a Russian visa ahead of November’s Kremlin Cup, which is good news for the Sony Ericsson Championships – Serena may qualify without hitting a ball over the next fortnight.

Now, more a case of painting between the lines…

Snakes and ladders

Daddy cool Gilles Simon moves on up eight spots to No.33 after titling in Metz at the weekend, while Juan Ignacio Chela lops 14 places off his ranking after doubling up with both titles in Bucharest. Meanwhile Xavier Malisse makes a long-awaited return to the top 50 this week after a three-year absence as Alexandr Dolgopolov moves in the opposite direction.

Things have been pretty quiet on the girls side, but they could heat up pretty soon should either Caroline Wozniacki or Vera Zvonareva go on a tear in the Far East. With Serena still MIA, both women could potentially knock her off her perch at the top of the rankings with a couple of very deep runs in Tokyo and Beijing. Question is: after looking back at the circus that followed fellow slamless wonders Dinara and Jelena around when they took top spot, would they want the added pressure?

Something tells me Bepa could do without it.

Next in line

Just your three this week: all WTA eyes are primed on Tokyo for the Toray Pan Pacific Open, while the men are split between Thailand and Malaysia. Check out the fans’ guide for the lowdown.

Now get the WORLD’S BEST TENNIS MAGAZINE here


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