Tamarine Tanasugarn kept Kimiko Date Krumm from a fairytale ending but wrote her own in Osaka on Sunday, claiming her fourth career Sony Ericsson WTA Tour title at the second annual HP Open.
With a combined age of 73, two of Asia’s most recognizable female athletes, the Japanese and Thai No.1s, were playing the oldest known final ever. For three hours and seven minutes, the two battled it out on Centre Court with their pinpoint groundstrokes and world class tenacity. It was Tanasugarn’s match early on, as she built a 75 31 lead; Date Krumm fought back to take it to a third set, but once she got there maybe her earlier matches caught up to her, as Tanasugarn cruised to a 75 67(4) 61 victory and her fourth career title. “I tried to be more aggressive in the third set and I finally made it,” Tanasugarn commented after the victory. “Osaka is a great city. This is a great feeling and hopefully I can continue to play like this and get a good start to 2011. Now I’ll have three days vacation on the beach when I get back, then I’ll be playing in Taipei and probably Toyota, followed by the Asian Games.” Tanasugarn’s first three titles came on hardcourts at Hyderabad in 2003 and on grass courts in ‘s-Hertogenbosch in back-to-back years in 2008 and 2009.