VIDEO: Anett Kontaveit becomes the first Estonian tennis player to qualify for WTA Finals

Anett Kontaveit, an Estonian professional tennis player, won the inaugural Transylvania Open in Romania on 31 October, securing the final spot at the WTA Finals – the women’s championship tennis tournament run by the Women’s Tennis Association; Kontaveit is now ranked the eighth best female tennis player in the world.

Kontaveit defeated Simona Halep of Romania in Transylvania Open, claiming her fourth title of the season – all of which have come in the last 10 weeks. Thus, she secured a spot at the WTA Finals – the first player representing Estonia to make the year-ending championships. She has also become the first Estonian tennis player to make the global top 10 in singles rankings.

A winning streak

According to the WTA, Kontaveit has been dominant at the end of this year. “She has now won a whopping 26 of her last 28 matches, including her last 10 in a row, which encompasses back-to-back titles in Moscow and Cluj-Napoca,” the WTA said in a press release.

Kontaveit defeated Simona Halep of Romania in Transylvania Open, claiming her fourth title of the season – all of which have come in the last 10 weeks.

“I’m still unsure of what’s going on,” Kontaveit said at her press conference, following her win in Transylvania Open. “Of course, I’m incredibly happy that I managed to play really well today and win the final. That was the main focus and I’m really, really proud of myself that I managed to do that.”

“I believe in myself a little bit more than I did a couple years ago, and I was trying to be aggressive but also stay consistent, and not go for too much,” Kontaveit said, regarding her first win over Halep. “I think she is such a good player, and I really tried to just focus on myself and not think about the three times that I had lost to her. I just took it as a new challenge.”

Anett Kontaveit won the inaugural Transylvania Open. Photo by WTA.

The 2021 WTA Finals are scheduled to be played at the Panamerican Tennis Center in Guadalajara, Mexico, from 10-17 November 2021. Kontaveit will face Ashleigh Barty (Australia), Aryna Sabalenka (Belarus), Barbora Krejčíková (Czech Republic), Karolína Plíšková (Czech Republic), Maria Sakkari (Greece), Iga Świątek (Poland), Garbiñe Muguruza (Spain) and Paula Badosa (Spain) at the WTA Finals.

Starting at the age of six

Kontaveit started training when she was six years old and three years later won her first title. In 2009, she won the Estonian women’s championship – at 13, she was the youngest ever to win the adult championship in singles.

Her international breakthrough came in 2011 when she started to play in the ITF women’s tournaments. At her first grass tournament of 2017, the Ricoh Open, Kontaveit reached her second final of the year. In that final, she clinched her maiden WTA title and ensured a top 40 debut.

Anett Kontaveit at 2019 Wimbledon Championships. Photo by Peter Menzel, shared under the Creative Commons CC BY-SA 2.0 licence.

Kontaveit is regarded as an aggressive baseline player, who utilises a variety of strokes to force opponents to hit awkward returns.

Cover: Anett Kontaveit. Photo by WTA.

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