Evergreen Japanese Kimiko Date Krumm deepened the gloom for injury-plagued former finalist Dinara Safina as the 39-year-old dismissed the ninth seed 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 at the French Open on Tuesday.
The first-round embarrassment was the first for Russia’s Safina since her debut in 2003 at Roland Garros.
The loss leaves Safina, losing finalist a year ago to fellow Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova, with a 4-11 mark on clay and little confidence in her game after months of back injury dramas.
Safina has lost three major finals in two seasons, Roland Garros last year and the year before plus the 2009 U.S. Open. Date Krumm, who turns 40 in September, quit the game in the last decade, making a return in 2008. The victory was her first at a Grand Slam during part two of her career.
Safina was troubled by 17 double-faults and 38 unforced errors in the loss, finding only a dozen winners. Date Krumm struck a massive 63 errors in a match whose final set lasted an hour, with the veteran taking treatment on court for a leg injury.