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Kimiko Date

Kimiko Date
Date of Birth 9/28/1970
Place of Birth Kyoto, Japan
Residence Tokyo
Nationality Japan
Height 164cm (5’4″)
Weight 55kg (121 lbs)
Plays Right-handed (2-handed backhand)
1st Career March 1989 − November 1996
2nd Career April 2008 − September 2017
Started Playing Tennis Age of 6

ProTennis Player

ProTennis Player
Kimiko started playing tennis when she entered elementary school. While a senior at Sonoda Gakuen High School in Hyogo Prefecture, Kimiko captured a triple-crown title by winning in the singles, doubles, and team competitions at the 1988 National Inter-High-School Tennis Tournament. She turned professional as soon as she graduated from high school in 1989. The following year in 1990, she achieved an incredible task of reaching 4th round at the Australian Open. At the 1993 US Open, she was a quarterfinalist, and in the following year, she won her first overseas tournament at the 1994 NSW Open in Sydney which made her the first Japanese player to achieve the top 10 WTA Ranking (ranked No. 9). In 1995 she was ranked No. 4 in the WTA Ranking. The following year in 1996, she defeated No. 1 WTA Ranking player, Steffi Graf, in the Fed Cup singles match played at the Ariake Coliseum. At the Wimbledon, the two met in the semifinals and since neither gave in to the other, the match prolonged until sunset and had to be carried over to the next day. After a hard 2-day's battle, Steffi Graf captured her place in the finals. In November of 1996, after losing to a 16 year old, Martina Hingis at the Chase Championships, Kimiko retired from the WTA Tour. She had maintained her top 10 ranking from 1994 to 1996. Her ranking was No. 8 at the time of her retirement.

In April 2008 Kimiko declared her intention to "take on a new challenge" as a professional tennis player. In the first year of her return, she won both singles and doubles at All Japan Tennis. Since then, she has proceeded to take on new challenges on world tours and in 2009, won the WTA Hansol Korea Open.

Career Highlights

2013 Won at WTA Pattaya Open Doubles
Won at WTA Whirlpool Monterrey Open Doubles
Won at WTA Internationaux de Strasbourg Doubles
Won at WTA E-BOKS OPEN Doubles
2011 Won at ITF Poitiers – France
Won at WTA HP Women's Doubles
2010 Bronze Medalist of Canton Asian Cup
Runner-up at WTA HP Women's Open
2009 Won at ITF Dunlop World Challenge
Won at WTA Hansol Korea Open
Won at ITF Monzon – Spain
2008 Won at All Japan Tennis
Won at ITF Tokyo Ariake International Women's Open
Won at ITF Miyazaki International Women's Challenge
Won at ITF Tokachi/Obihiro International Women's Open
1996 Won at WTA Japan Open
Semifinalist at Wimbledon
Won at WTA Toshiba Classic
1995 Won at WTA Toray Pan Pacific Open
Quarterfinalist at Roland Garros
1994 Won at WTA New South Wales Open
Quarterfinalist at Australian Open
Won at WTA Japan Open
Gold Medalist of Hiroshima Asian Cup
1993 Won at WTA Japan Open
1992 Won at WTA Japan Open


2013 Kyoto Pref. Akebono Award Special Award
International Brandlaureate Brand Personality Award
2010 ITF Heart Award
Mainichi Sports Newspaper Most Impressive Athlete Award
Selected ‘Most Valuable Tennis Player’ by the 60th Japan
Sports Award
2009 Selected ‘Professional of the Year’ by Japan Professional
Tennis Association
2008 Japan Professional Athletes Special Award
2001 The Best Asian Female Player of the 20th Century
1999 Selected ‘Jeans Fashion Leader’ by Japan Jeans Association
1996 Honorary Special Sports Award given by Kyoto Municipal
1995 Japan Professional Sports Award for Outstanding Performance
1994 Shiga Prefectural Sports Award
Tokyo Citizens' Honorary Award
Japan Professional Athletes Special Award
Japan Fair Play Award
Japan Tennis Association's Most Valuable Player Award
1993 ‘The Best Smile of the Year’ Award given by the Japan
Dentistry Association
1992 The Best Dresser Award by Men’s Fashion Association


Promoting tennis (kids projects)
Since March of 1998, Kimiko has been involved in a project called, “Come and play tennis with Kimiko Date!” to promote tennis to children ranging in ages from 3 to 10 on a nationwide basis. She also participates in various events for kids in Japan to relay the enjoyment of playing tennis. This activity has expanded overseas as she held tennis events for children in the US, France, China, Thailand, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Jamaica, Honduras, and Morocco.
Commentating tennis tournaments
Making TV appearances
Involvements in social activities
Official Supporter of JICA
Member of NPO Room to Read (to build schools in developing countries)
Laureus (social contribution by athletes)
Kanto Wheelchair Tennis Association
Writing columns
Writing serialized article for a magazine
Tennis Classic Break
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