One of the oldest. and most storied, players that have graced the WTA Tour, Kimiko Date gave her official goodbyes after receiving double bagels from Aleksandra Krunic in the first round of the Japan Open. This is one of a many retirements for the 46-year-old, but she assures fans that is the last time she will play professional tennis.
Her speech is in Japanese, but here are some highlights.
"It was a big memory for me to be playing in Tokyo," she said after the match. "Always Tokyo tennis fans support me a lot, and of course my friends were here and my sponsor was here, so it was exciting.
"Thank you so much to all tennis fans, and of course Japanese fans...tennis is always a wonderful sport, especially in the women. I have so much enjoyed the tour."
After an unforced error closed the match, Krunic gave a bow in respect of Date before the two embraced in a friendly hug.
Surprisingly, Date is not the oldest woman to compete on the tour. That honor belongs to Martina Navratilova, who officially retired in 2006 at the age of 49.
Date's friends on tour will miss her:
What a career! My favorite Kimiko story to date was earlier this year when she offered me her chair and said "don't worry, I'm still young!" https://t.co/iFJl2Rn3Vy— Irina Falconi (@IrinaFalconi) September 12, 2017