sport

Kimiko shocks Hantuchova

The tour's oldest player Kimiko Date-Krumm defeated defending champion and seventh seed Daniela Hantuchova to reach the quarter-finals of the Aegon Classic in Birmingham.

The 43-year-old from Japan proved an enduring grass-court threat by shortening the rallies, making her first serve count, and advanced for the loss of just four games.

The most crucial phase of her startling 6-4 6-0 success was the 10th game, in which Hantuchova made a push to recoup the early loss of a service game.

The seventh-seeded Slovak briefly re-found the ground-stroking rhythm which Date-Krumm took away, and earned one break back point for 5-5.

But once that was denied her - Date-Krumm moved sharply forward and put away a smash - Hantuchova's standard fell rather limply. Not even a dispute with the umpire about a line decision got her competitive adrenaline flowing.

Slovakia's Hantuchova admitted she was well beaten on the day; "Going into the match, I felt very confident and I thought I had those chances early in the beginning of the first set to maybe break her.

"But after that, she just didn't really give me a chance. I tried everything, and I mean, she was hitting lines, moving well, coming to the net, serving unbelievably well."

It was 18 years ago that Date-Krumm reached a Wimbledon semi-final and she will next play Casey Dellacqua in the quarter-finals after she shocked second seed Sam Stosur 2-6 6-2 6-2.

Top seed Ana Ivanovic from Serbia eased past Lauren Davis 6-1 6-1, but third seed Sloane Stephens had a much tougher time against fellow American Alison Riske but finished strongly to win 7-6 (7-4) 2-6 6-1.

It was a similar story for fourth seed Kirsten Flipkens, a semi-finalist at Wimbledon last year, who came from a break down in the second set to defeat Aleksandra Wozniak 1-6 7-5 6-4.

Czech duo Klara Koukalova and Barbora Zahlavova Strycova both booked their spots in the quarter-finals along with ninth seed Zhang Shuai.

Meanwhile, British duo Heather Watson and Johanna Konta have both been given wild cards for the Aegon International in Eastbourne next week