The former world number four had warned not to expect a "Rocky"-style comeback in April last year when she announced her return to the professional game aged 37.
But after her knockout run at last week's Korea Open, overpowering Spain's Anabel Medina Garrigues in the final a day shy of her 39th birthday, Date Krumm apologised.
"I didn't mean to tell fibs," Japan's most successful player said. "I just knew playing on the WTA Tour after a 12-year blank wouldn't be a walk in the park.
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"I didn't know how far I could go. Then I started to get a hunger for winning again so I put my housewife duties on hold as tennis was my biggest priority.
"My husband understands," she added with a wry grin.
Date Krumm's last trophy came when the Spice Girls were topping the charts and Bill Clinton was still US president.
Her 6-3 6-3 win in last Sunday's final in Seoul made her the oldest winner of a WTA tournament since American Billie Jean King in 1983 - and came as a huge surprise to the Japanese.
"It was a shock to win a tournament again of course," said Date Krumm, in flip-flops and with three of her toes wrapped in plasters after suffering blisters during her run in Korea.
"When I came back, at first I just wanted to have fun," said Date Krumm, who reached a career-high world ranking of fourth in 1995.
"I also wanted to give a boost to Japanese players. Now I feel I have a bit of a chance.
"I was losing (all eight of her WTA events since returning) in the first round. At times I thought winning would be impossible after 12 years out and given my age. Playing well and winning are totally different things."
"I did struggle with the thought I'd reached my limit but it's not like I was losing matches 6-0 6-0."
Date Krumm abruptly retired from tennis in 1996 after reaching the semi-finals at Wimbledon where she had Steffi Graf on the ropes until a rain shower saved the German.
Her eighth tour title - and first since beating Spain's Arantxa Sanchez Vicario in San Diego in 1996 - tasted sweeter for the Kyoto-born player.
"I knew it would be tough," Date Krumm said. "But perhaps not quite this tough.
"I don't know where I get the energy. Recovery is so important at my age. Young players don't need to worry so much but I have to make sure I eat, drink and sleep correctly."
Date Krumm plans to play into her 40s after putting plans to start a family with German racing driver husband Michael Krumm on the back-burner.
"Next year of course I would like another crack at the Grand Slams," she said. "But I probably have two, three years max, left in me, then I'll stop."
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