TOKYO, April 6 (Reuters) - Japan’s Kimiko Date, a former world top five player, will return to the women’s professional tour at the age of 37 after retiring 12 years ago, local media reported on Sunday.
Date, who reached a career-high ranking of fourth in 1995 before quitting the WTA Tour in the following year, is due to make a formal announcement at a news conference on Monday.
Japan’s most successful tennis player, Date abruptly abandoned the game after reaching the semi-finals at Wimbledon and the last eight at the Atlanta Olympics.
Date, who recently played an exhibition tournament with former rivals Steffi Graf and Martina Navratilova in Tokyo, won seven WTA titles.
She was also a semi-finalist at the French and Australian Opens. (Reporting by Alastair Himmer; Editing by John Mehaffey)