Former World No. 4 Kimiko Date Krumm has announced her retirement from international tennis at the age of 46. She had also retired on September 24, 1996, but returned 12 years later in 2008 and became the second-oldest player in the Open era to win a singles title on the WTA Tour.
The Japan Women’s Open which will begin in Tokyo on September 11 will be her last tournament, the former world number four revealed through her official blog.
"I have always been obsessed with competing,” Date said as reported by AFP.
"But increasingly I've found myself adjusting the length and intensity of training to look after my physical condition.
"It has not been an easy decision to sever the feeling that I want to get back on
Date made a comeback to the court in May after undergoing multiple surgeries, including a knee cartilage transplant earlier this year. Despite playing on until the age of 46, Date could not emulate her idol Martina Navratilova, who played on until a month short of her 50th birthday in 2006.
"But it is time to put the punctuation point on my tennis career."