Age is just a number, just ask Kimiko Date

September 28, 2010 § Leave a comment

Clijsters was a former #1 player and grand slam champion. In 2007, she stunned the world of tennis when she announced her retirement from the sport at a young age of 24. Fast forwarded to 2009, Clijsters made a return to competitive tennis. Her comeback was mostly inspired by a Wimbledon exhibition match between her and the retired Steffi Graf. Kim’s comeback hitherto has been very successful, punctuated by an emotional victory at the 2009 U.S. Open.

Like Kim Clijsters, Kimiko Date retired from tennis at a young age (25). As a matter of fact, Date was at her peak when she decided to take a leave from the sport. But unlike Clijsters, Date returned to the tour not in her 20s but in her late 30s (38 to be exact). In a sport where most players retire in their 20s, her comeback appeared destined for failure. It was hard to imagine that a 38-year old woman could even win a match at the tour’s level. Yet, Kimiko Date has thus far defied all her skeptics. While she is not a threat to win grand slams, Date has been very competitive in her return. In late 2009, Date defeated several top players en route to her first title in 12 years.


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