At 42, Kimiko Date-Krumm is the oldest woman in the Australian Open draw and she has little in common with her competitors, aside from tennis. On the courts around her on Thursday were rivals less than half her age and some not yet out of high school.
Eleven teenagers advanced to the second round this year, compared with three in 2012. So many teenagers are rising through the rankings, in fact, former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki feels like a veteran at the age of 22.
''There are still a few older ones than me,'' she joked after beating 16-year-old Donna Vekic of Croatia in the second round 6-1, 6-4. ''I still want to try to feel young out here. But, you know, it's the way of life, I guess - 22, it's old in the tennis world soon.''
Just not yet. The next generation of female players have made a statement at the Australian Open, but there's no expectation they're ready to hoist a Grand Slam trophy like Martina Hingis and Monica Seles did at 16 and Serena Williams and Maria Shara...