Kontaveit and Kanepi could meet in third round of French Open

Anett Kontaveit (left) and Kaia Kanepi (right).
Anett Kontaveit (left) and Kaia Kanepi (right). Source: Anna Aurelia Minev/ERR

This year's French Open, set to begin on Monday, will see Estonian top tennis player Anett Kontaveit (WTA 21st) face off against French Caroline Garcia (WTA 45th), who she recently beat in the Italian Open, in the first round.

Kaia Kanepi (WTA 106th) will play Marie Bouzkova (WTA 45th) in her first round match-up. Depending on how things shape up from then on, the two Estonians could face each other in the third round.

Kontaveit has played Garcia on three previous occasions. The French player won their first meeting in Luxembourg in 2016, but the Estonian has taken the last two matches: In Stuttgart in 2019 and in the Italian Open in Rome this year. The match in Rome ended with a 2:0 [6:3, 7:6 (1)] victory for the Estonian.

Kontaveit is currently on a streak of decent tournament performances, having reached the finals in the restart of the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) season restart in Palermo in August. She also reached the quarter finals of WTA Cincinnati and the round of 16 in the U.S. Open, losing to Naomi Osaka in both tournaments in the span of two weeks.

Kontaveit's last showing was in Rome on September 17, as she lost her second round Italian Open encounter against Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia in three sets, 6:4, 5:7, 6:3. The 24-year old Estonian also picked up a back injury in that match, perhaps caused by the hectic schedule of the season restart.

Kontaveit commented on the injury on September 17: "I think there's been a lot of playing, everything had arrived in a row. After New York, I was at home for one day and then flew here right away."

Kaia Kanepi will also play in the Roland Garros French Open, facing off against Czech Marie Bouzkova in the first round. Kanepi and Bouzkova have met once previously, this year in Brisbane. The Czech player bested the Estonian 2:0 (7:5, 6:3).

Kanepi last played in the U.S. Open, losing her match against Tunisian player Ons Jabeur in straight sets in the round of 64.

If the Estonian women are succesful in their first two rounds, they would face off against each other in the third round. While they have played many a match in domestic tournaments, they have not faced off in an official WTA setting before.

The French Open at the Roland Garros was postponed this year from its traditional slot of late May due to the coronavirus pandemic.


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste, Andrew Whyte

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