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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.''

Virginia snaps 3-game losing streak with 63-58 win over Georgia Tech

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USA Today Sports Images

Virginia snaps 3-game losing streak with 63-58 win over Georgia Tech

ATLANTA (AP) -- Jay Huff and Mamadi Diakite scored 17 points apiece as defending national champion Virginia snapped a three-game losing streak with a 63-58 win over Georgia Tech on Saturday night.

The Cavaliers (12-5, 4-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) finally regained their winning touch after dropping out of The Associated Press ranking for the first time since November 2017.

Georgia Tech (8-10, 3-5) lost its fourth straight home game. The Yellow Jackets haven't won at McCamish Pavilion since a Dec. 4 victory over Nebraska. 

Diakite's dunk with 14:47 remaining gave Virginia its biggest lead, 43-29.

The Cavaliers were still up 48-37 with just over 10 minutes to go when Georgia Tech suddenly came to life offensively.

The Yellow Jackets scored on four of five possessions, stringing together a 9-0 run that cut Virginia's edge to 48-46.

That was as close as Georgia Tech would get.

Huff, a 7-foot-1 center, knocked down a 3-pointer from the top of the key to thwart Georgia Tech's momentum. A few minutes later, he swished another open jumper to make it 55-48. 

Georgia Tech got a basket and a defensive stop, but Braxton Key swooped on for an offensive rebound to give the Cavaliers a second chance. With just over 2 minutes to go, Diakite was left open on the wing for a jumper that made it 57-50, effectively finishing off the Yellow Jackets.

Jose Alvarado paced Georgia Tech with 20 points.

Virginia led 33-25 at halftime, taking advantage of the home team's sloppy play. The Yellow Jackets hit 11 of 18 shots (61.1%) but turned it over 13 times, wasting far too many possessions against the defensive-minded Cavaliers.

BIG PICTURE

Virginia: The Cavaliers picked up a desperately needed victory to avoid their longest losing streak since a four-game skid from Feb. 12-20, 2017. While still a far cry from their national championship squad, Virginia showed some offensive efficiency to go along with its always-tenacious defense. Key chipped in with 10 points. 

Georgia Tech: This is shaping up to be another disappointing season, raising more doubts about whether coach Josh Pastner can turn around a program that is approaching a decade since its last NCAA Tournament appearance. The Yellow Jackets continue to show flashes of promise, but Pastner has been unable to develop any sort of consistency in his fourth season. 

UP NEXT

Virginia: Returns home to play North Carolina State on Monday night. 

Georgia Tech: Hits the road for the first of two meetings against No. 11 Louisville. The teams will meet again in Atlanta on March 7, the final game of the regular season. 

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Capitals hosting Rock The Rink skate and watch parties around DMV

Capitals hosting Rock The Rink skate and watch parties around DMV

The Capitals may not be participating in Stadium Series this year, but the team is embracing outdoor hockey around Washington for spirited game day fun.

The Caps are hosting Rock The Rink skates at The Wharf, Penatgon Row, Rockville Town Square and The Avenue at White Marsh on select game days from January to March 2020. Fans attending these events can wear Capitals jerseys or gear to get either $5 off admission or free skate rentals.

The Wharf

Jan. 18 at 1 p.m., Jan. 31 at 6 p.m., and Feb 17. at 1 p.m.

Transit Pier will boast a Capitals-paneled ice rink with an ice resurfacer, trivia contests, giveaways, along with a DJ. The Capitals Campire will also boast Adirondack chairs around a fire to roast marshmallows for smores in front of a 14-foot jumbotron screen to watch the Capitals games. 

Pentagon Row

Feb. 27 at 7 p.m. and March 9 at 6 p.m.

These skates will feature Slapshot, giveaways, a DJ and Capitals-centic specials at local restaurants. The Caps games will also be on at surrounding bars. 

The Avenue at White March

Feb. 7 at 6 p.m.

This event will feature Slapshot, giveaways, a DJ and Capitals-centic specials at local restaurants.

Rockville Town Square

Jan. 31 at 5:30 p.m. and March 5 at 6 p.m.

In addition to the above fun, Rockville native and Capitals hockey ambassador Haley Skarupa will be there on Jan. 31. You can watch the Capitals game at local bars as well. 

Fans attending these events or using local outdoor rinks this season are encouraged to post about it on social media by tagging @capitals and using the hashtag #RockTheRink to enter themselves for a chance to win prizes.

Caps slept through the first 40 minutes, they did not give Holtby much help though he was bad in his own right and Vrana sure did show something with the game-winning goal.

As for no penalties...not so much.

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