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Almost 40, Date upsets Sharapova

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Kimiko Date Krumm returned the ball to Maria Sharapova during Date Krumm's win.

TOKYO » Japanese veteran Kimiko Date Krumm rallied to beat defending champion Maria Sharapova 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 yesterday in the first round of the Pan Pacific Open.

Date Krumm, who turns 40 today, broke the 23-year-old Russian to go up 5-3 in the third set and won the final game when Sharapova’s backhand went wide.

"To play against a former world No. 1 and defending champion, I knew I had to play to the best of my ability," said Date Krumm, who returned to competitive tennis in 2008 after a 12-year layoff.

In second-round matches, third-seeded Jelena Jankovic of Serbia defeated Alona Bondarenko of Ukraine 6-4, 6-1 and sixth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland coasted to a 6-2, 6-3 win over Olga Govortsova of Belarus.

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