Estonia lost to 2:1 Ukraine in the second stage of the Fed Cup in Tallinn on Saturday.
Elena Malõgina lost to Dajana Jamstremska (WTA 26) 6:3, 6:1 in the first of the three games – which follow a format of two singles matches followed by a doubles match, the latter often being the decide. The next two matches saw a win followed by a loss for Estonia.
Malõgina lies 527 places below the Ukrainian.
The next game was undoubtedly a highlight for spectators, pitching top Estonian player Anett Kontaveit, now 22nd in the world, against world number four Elina Svitolina. The pair had met just once before, in Rome in 2018, which saw the Ukrainian win in straight sets.
Kontaveit won the first set 6:3, and narrowly missed out on the second, which went to a tie-breaker (7:6 (5)). She then took control in the third set to win 6:2.
The deciding doubles game pitted Kontaveit and Malõgina against a fresh pair of Ukrainian players, Marta Kostjuki (WTA 167) and Lesia Tsurenko (WTA 128), who wrapped things up in straight sets, 6:2, 6:0.
Estonia's coach Märten Tamla said that he was happy with the team's performance despite Saturday's result.
"I was happy with my girls in any case. This result, losing to Ukraine, is of course a disappointment. However, we came here to reach the playoffs and reach the playoffs we did. Unfortunately, the Ukrainian girls played a great game of doubles," Tamla told ERR after the game.
"In my opinion, Elena [Malõgina] played very well. I think she proved herself, she proved to others and she also proved to me that she is capable of playing higher than she currently shows."
The Fed Cup is the premier international team competition in women's tennis, and the women's equivalent of the men's Davis Cup. France are the most recent champions.
Editor: Andrew Whyte