Thailand’s Tamarine Tanasugarn won the the singles crown at the Japan Women’s Open tennis tournament Sunday, dashing Kimiko Date Krumm’s bid to become the oldest player to win a tour title.
The 33-year-old Thai ace, the runner-up here in 2001 and the doubles champion with Maria Sharapova in 2003, took the match with a 7-5, 6-7 (4/7), 6-1 victory over the four-time former champion.
If she had won, Date Krumm, 40, would have become the oldest player to secure a tour title, overtaking Billie Jean King, who won in Birmingham in 1983. It was Tamarine’s fourth career WTA title, following her victories at the 2008-2009 ‘s-Hertogenbosch and Hyderabad in 2003.
It was a repeat performance for Tamarine, who also defeated Date Krumm when the Japanese came back to the tour in April 2008 in the final of an ITF tournament in Gifu, Japan.
Tamarine, who took three hours and seven minutes to beat off Date Krumm, received the winner’s check of $ 37,000.
Date Krumm, who eliminated defending champion Samantha Stosur of Australia and Shahar Peer of Israel to reach the final, had to be satisfied with the runner-up prize.