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Japan's Date-Krumm sets record at Australian Open

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Japan's Date-Krumm sets record at Australian Open

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) Now that she's 42, Kimiko Date-Krumm is older than some of her opponent's parents.

Her memory is starting to get fuzzy, too. She can't remember whom she played when she last won a match at the Australian Open - but she remembers it was way back in 1996.

On Tuesday, the Japanese veteran became the oldest woman to win a singles match at Melbourne Park when she beat No. 12 Nadia Petrova 6-2, 6-0 in the first round.

After the match, she fielded a variety of questions about her secret to longevity in a sport filled with women half her age.

``Some players' mothers are younger than me,'' she laughed. ``So it's like (they're) my daughter.''

Her advice to keeping fit: ``I sleep a lot. I eat healthy foods. I drink a lot,'' she said. Bedtime is usually before 10. ``It's a simple life, that's it. Nothing special.''

The mindset that comes with her advanced age has helped her, she said, as did a long period of absence from the sport.

Date-Krumm, who is married to German race car driver Michael Krumm, took a 12-year break from tennis and returned in 2008.

``After I stopped playing tennis in 1996, I never thought I would come back on the tour. But I love sports. I love tennis,'' said Date-Krumm, who is ranked No. 100. She has won eight tour titles and more than $3 million dollars in prize money in her career.

She said she feels less stress about playing now that she's older and is better equipped to manage all the attention. An increase of Asian athletes into international sports - baseball, golf and now tennis - has also helped her feel less pressure.

Since her comeback, she has failed to advance beyond the second round of a Grand Slam. But she has amassed a number of ``oldest player'' records. Among them: At 39, during the 2010 French Open, she became the oldest player to beat a Top 10 player. She then beat her own record later that year in Osaka after turning 40.

``I'm very happy to win today, but I don't play for the records,'' she said. ``I'm playing for fun.''

Every year, she says, she's asked when she'll retire, but she doesn't have an answer yet.

Will she still be playing into her 50s like Martina Navratilova did?

``I don't think so, no,'' she laughed.

Navratilova holds the record for the oldest woman to win a singles match at a Grand Slam, which came at Wimbledon in 2004 when she was 47 years, eight months.

Date-Krumm's best result at the Australian Open came in 1994 when she reached the semifinals. She achieved a career-high ranking of No. 4 in 1995.

She made her Grand Slam debut at the French Open in 1989 when Petrova was just 6 years old.

On Tuesday, Date-Krumm cruised through her match against 30-year-old Petrova in 64 minutes. She made 75 percent of her first serves, while Petrova stumbled with 38 unforced errors.

``She's a tough cookie,'' said Petrova, a 2010 quarterfinalist at Melbourne Park. ``She played really well today. She didn't give me any room to come back.''

Petrova agreed that a vacation from the sport that requires rigorous travel around the world could be a good thing.

``She took a 10-year break,'' Petrova said, ``so you know she might be fresher than most of us in our 30s.''

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Wizards vs. Hornets: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

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USA TODAY Sports

Wizards vs. Hornets: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

Bradley Beal, Otto Porter, Kelly Oubre, Jr. and the Washington Wizards battle Kemba Walker, Dwight Howard, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night.

Here is all you need to know: TV, live stream and radio info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch:

WASHINGTON WIZARDS VS. CHARLOTTE HORNETS

Where: Capital One Arena
Tip-off: 7 p.m.
TV: NBC Sports Washington (coverage begins at 6 p.m.)
Live stream: NBCSportsWashington.com
Radio: 1500 AM

On a roll

The Wizards have some serious momentum going right now. With an impressive win over the Cavs on Thursday, they have now won three straight games and eight of 10 since John Wall went down with a left knee injury. They had a week off due to the All-Star break, but didn't show any rust at all in their first game back.

The Wizards are now 34-24, 10 games above the .500 mark. They are fourth in the East and could move into third on Friday if they win and the Cavaliers lose. Even with Wall out, things continue to look up for Washington.

PODCAST: BIGGEST STORYLINES COMING OUT OF ALL-STAR BREAK

Hornets have had their number

The Wizards haven't done so well against the Hornets so far this season. Charlotte has taken both meetings and that includes a 24-point win on Jan. 17. That game featured Dwight Howard taunting the Wizards late in the fourth quarter.

Howard has killed the Wizards through two games with averages of 22.0 points and 14.0 rebounds. Jeremy Lamb (20.0 ppg vs. Wizards) has been a big factor as well as All-Star Kemba Walker (21.5 ppg vs. Wizards).

The last time these teams played about a month ago frustrations boiled over in an incident that got Tim Frazier ejected. Michael Carter-Williams picked a fight with Jason Smith and Frazier went off:

RELATED: BEAL IMPRESSED BY LEBRON AT ALL-STAR GAME

Hornets coming in hot

The Hornets are outside the playoff picture at the moment at eight games below .500, but they have won two straight games and Walker and Howard are coming off huge games. In a win over the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday, Walker dropped 31 points and Howard grabbed 24 rebounds.

Those guys will be riding a high coming into Washington on Friday. But it should be noted that Howard complained after the game how tired he is at this point in the season. That exhausion could affect him more in the second game of a back-to-back.

RELATED: LATEST NBA POWER RANKINGS

 

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5 must-see moments from Wizards' huge road win over Cavaliers, including Markieff Morris' alley-oop

5 must-see moments from Wizards' huge road win over Cavaliers, including Markieff Morris' alley-oop

Here are the five best plays or moments from the Washington Wizards' 110-103 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday night...

1. The Wizards didn't start out well, as they trailed by nine points at the end of the first quarter. Kelly Oubre, Jr. stumbled early by missing four of his first six shots and it looked like a carryover of his slump before the All-Star break.

But Oubre got hot in the second quarter and helped the Wizards turn the game around. This was one of his best plays, a two-handed slam that he celebrated with an emphatic scream to the crowd:

RELATED: BEAL IMPRESSED BY LEBRON AT ALL-STAR GAME

2. Tomas Satoransky was one of the stars of the game. He had 17 points to go along with eight assists, four rebounds and two steals. 

Here's one of his dimes, a perfect alley-oop lob to Markieff Morris, who finished with nine points and eight rebounds:

3. Satoransky has reached double-figures in six of the 10 games since John Wall went out with an injury. This was a very impressive move, a stepback fadeaway that was super smooth:

RELATED: GET TO KNOW NEW WIZARDS FREE AGENT SIGNING

4. Ian Mahinmi made some key contributions including four offensive rebounds and a steal. This was his best basket, a powerful slam that came at a key time:

5. This play helped seal the victory. It was a smart after-timeout set drawn up by head coach Scott Brooks and it worked to perfection:

RELATED: LATEST NBA POWER RANKINGS