Victory sweet for Date as Japan prosper

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Kimiko Date was the toast of Tokyo yesterday when she overcame an injured left leg to beat Steffi Graf, the world No 1, 7-6, 3-6, 12-10 and help Japan reach the semi-finals in the world group of the Federation Cup.

A weary Graf went on to lose the deciding doubles with her partner Anke Huber, giving Japan a 3-2 victory over Germany. The fresher pair of Ai Sugiyama and Kyoko Nagatsuka beat them 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.