Date-Krumm, 42, wins again at Australian Open


Date-Krumm, 42, wins again at Australian Open

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) Kimiko Date-Krumm is still winning in the Grand Slam arena at age 42, much to the dismay of her former peers.

Asked what her 1990s-era rivals such as Steffi Graf and Gabriela Sabatini say when they see her, Date-Krumm said: ``Everybody say to me, `You are crazy.' First word is always, `You are crazy.''

Date-Krumm advanced to the third round of the Australian Open on Thursday with a 6-2, 7-5 win over Shahar Peer.

Graf, who beat Date-Krumm in the 1994 Australian Open semifinals before going on to win the title, is now married to four-time Australian Open champion Andre Agassi and has two children.

``Of course, she say to me, `You should stop now and make the baby,''' Date-Krumm said of the advice she gets from the 43-year-old former German ace.

Date-Krumm doesn't plan to stop anytime soon. At 42 years, 111 days, she is the second-oldest woman to reach the third round of a Grand Slam after Renee Richards, who was 45 years, 8 days old when she reached the third round of the U.S. Open in 1979. Date-Krumm upset No. 12-seeded Nadia Petrova in the first round.

The Japanese veteran joked she could be playing for five more years, but added, it's ``not easy. I need new body.''

For a woman who says she's still playing tennis for fun, she certainly didn't look like she was enjoying herself against Peer in the stifling heat on Thursday.

Serving for the match at 5-4 in the second set, Date-Krumm dug herself into a 0-40 hole and started muttering to herself in Japanese and glaring at Peer's singing supporters in the stands. ``I felt so heavy (in) my body and I couldn't move,'' she said.

However, after winning the match two games later, she threw her head back, kissed her racket and smiled at the hundreds of Japanese fans cheering in the stands.

She survived to play another round. And if that isn't enough, she's still in contention in the doubles draw, too.


BIG FINISH: On Tuesday, Serena Williams was concerned she wouldn't be able to play her second-round match at the Australian Open because of a minor ankle injury.

She not only played - and won - the match against Spanish teenager Garbine Muguruza on Thursday, she also hit one of her fastest serves ever.

Serving for the match at 5-0 in the second set, Williams smacked an ace down the center of the service box that registered 128.6 mph (207 km/h).

``I did not expect that,'' she said after the match. ``I was like, `OK, I'm going to hit a big one, 200 (km/h). It went 207. I was like, `Wow.'''

``I think it's my fastest that went in,'' she added.

Williams is tied for the most aces at the tournament so far with Hungary's Timea Babos at 15, though Babos, a first-round loser, only played one match.


FEELING HOT, HOT, HOT: Ice towels, ice vests and ambulances were on hand for players on a scorching Day 4 at the Australian Open.

Temperatures nearly reached 106 degrees in the afternoon.

An on-site meteorologist was monitoring the weather minute-by-minute to decide whether to delay matches or close the retractable roofs on the two main show courts as part of the so-called Extreme Heat Policy, tournament organizers said.

The roof remained open for Victoria Azarenka's second-round match on Rod Laver Arena early in the day, which she won in 55 minutes.

``Even at 11 a.m. you could really feel it,'' she said. ``I wasn't sure if we were playing with closed roof or open roof. Right before the match I saw it was closed. I thought, `Wow, good. It wouldn't be so hot. It wasn't a problem.'''

Not so. The roof was open - it is an outdoor tournament, after all.

As part of the tournament's tradition, high heat entitles the women to an extra 10-minute break between the second and third sets.

Fans, meanwhile, were advised to ``slip, slop, slap.'' That's Australian code for: ``Slip on a shirt, Slop on sunscreen and Slap on a hat.''


Associated Press writer Jocelyn Gecker contributed to this report.

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3 reasons the Caps beat the Stars

3 reasons the Caps beat the Stars

The Washington Capitals had not beaten the Dallas Stars at home since 2006, Alex Ovechkin's second season in the NHL. That streak ended on Tuesday in a 4-3 Caps win.

Here's how the Caps were finally able to down Dallas in Washington.

Oshie still hot

After going 19 straight games without a goal, T.J. Oshie has been red-hot of late with four goals in his last four games. He scored Washington’s first goal in what would become a three-goal period for the Caps as they battled back from a 1-0 deficit into a 3-3 tie through 40 minutes. Oshie also added an assist as he won a power play faceoff that John Carlson fed to Alex Ovechkin for the goal.


Ovechkin victimizing his favorite target

You knew Ovechkin would score given he was playing against one of his favorite targets. With his second period goal, Ovechkin now has 22 goals against Kari Lehtonen in his career, tied with Henrik Lundqvist for the most goals he has scored on any netminder. Lehtonen has not been in the Eastern Conference since the 2008-09 season. When he goes to sleep at night, Ovechkin is who he sees in his nightmares.

The Carlson-Klingberg duel

Carlson and John Klingberg entered Tuesday’s game each with 59 points, tied for the league lead in points among defensemen. Carlson downplayed the matchup both before and after the game, but it was clear that both players were playing at another level all game long. While both players tallied two points on the night, you have to give the win to Carlson as he had the most significant point, a game-winning goal in the third period.


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Redskins make contract offer to pass rusher Pernell McPhee, per report


Redskins make contract offer to pass rusher Pernell McPhee, per report

Free agent pass rusher Pernell McPhee visited the Redskins on Monday, and by Tuesday night a report emerged that Washington offered the veteran outside linebacker a contract.

Last week, Trent Murphy signed with the Buffalo Bills and things remain uncertain between the Redskins and Junior Galette. That means the organization has a need for an edge rushing linebacker, and that's exactly the role McPhee can play. 

A 29-year-old that played the last three seasons with the Bears, McPhee posted 14 sacks while in Chicago. Prior to his time with the Bears, McPhee was a solid contributor on some good Ravens teams. 


His best season in Baltimore came in 2014 when he posted 7.5 sacks. That's also the last season McPhee played a full 16 game schedule. He's missed 12 games over the last three years in Chicago. 

McPhee could provide the Redskins with solid veteran depth at outside linebacker, and he's also considered a plus defender against the run. With Ryan Kerrigan and Preston Smith cemented as the starting outside linebackers, if signed, McPhee would pair up with Ryan Anderson on Washington's second unit. At 6-foot-2 and 275 lbs., McPhee carries more weight on his frame than either Kerrigan or Smith. 

Pro Football Focus gave McPhee a strong grade for the 2017 season. He notched a +11.5 and ranked 13th out of 46 outside linebackers graded. For comparison, Broncos star Von Miller ranked 1st at +57, Kerrigan ranked 8th at +22.9 and Galette ranked 10th at +16.2.

It's unclear what a move for McPhee would mean between the Redskins and Galette, but it's hard to imagine it helps.

Free agent Johnathan Hankins also visited Washington on Monday, and while he plays an interior defensive line position different from McPhee, it's also unclear what this offer would do to any negotiations between the Redskins and Hankins. 

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