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Tennis star jokes that she wants to be cryogenically frozen for Olympics

TOKYO -- Japan's Kimiko Date-Krumm has no plans to quit tennis at the ripe old age of 43 but told AFP she would have to be cryogenically frozen to carry on for too much longer.

The former world number four joked that going into a deep freeze like spoof spy Austin Powers and being defrosted in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics would appeal to her as she battles minor injuries in the run-up to the French Open.

“If I'd just have to sleep and then when I wake up it's like it's yesterday, that might work,” Date-Krumm said in an interview ahead of a workout at a Tokyo gym. “I'm not getting any younger.”

“I did this in Mexico, this in Malaysia and this in Korea,” she adds, pointing to various minor niggles on both legs. “It gets harder with age.”

But the evergreen Date-Krumm, who reached her career-high ranking in 1995, ruled out retirement, for now, even if she confessed to doubts sometimes creeping in as to how long she can continue.

“Next year? That's still a long way away,” said the world number 84, bursting into a laugh. “I have thought at times that enough is enough and wrestled with the idea (of quitting), but I've managed to overcome those feelings so far.

“I don't have any problem with people mentioning my age. Of course my recovery time after matches is slower and I feel the fatigue more the next day. On the way back to the hotel, you feel sore and sometimes the ice baths don't work.”

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 2018 host PyeongChang on right track: IOC 
Kimiko Date-Krumm of Japan returns a shot to Donna Vekic of Croatia during the Sony Open at the Crandon Park Tennis Center in Key Biscayne, Florida on March 19. (AFP)

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