Anett Kontaveit (WTA 23rd) advanced to the quarterfinals in a tournament in Melbourne, specifically organized for players who had to isolate in their hotel rooms after positive COVID-19 cases, defeating American player Bethanie Mattek-Sandsi (WTA 339th) in two sets.
Kontaveit started the opening set with a break and took a 2:0 lead to start the match. After 38 minutes of action, the Estonian extended her lead to 5:4, but a rain delay suspended the match for nearly an hour. Returning from the delay down 15:40 in with a chance to close the set, Kontaveit saved two break points, but Mattek-Sands eventually realized a third to tie the opening set at 5. Kontaveit then took a 0:40 lead in the next set, which she was able to realize to a game win and added a clean serve game, taking the first set 7:5.
The Estonian took leads of 2:1 and 4:2 in the second set, but Mattek-Sands was then able to rattle off three consecutive games to take a 5:4 lead instead. At 5:5, Kontaveit was once again able to break the American's serve and she finished the second set with a 7:5 victory.
Kontaveit will next face off against last year's US Open finalist Viktoria Azarenka (WTA 13th). The Belarusian, ranked third for the tournament, was off in the first round of the tournament and then defeated Julia Putintseva (WTA 28th) in three sets.
The Grampians Trophy Kontaveit is playing in was a last-minute addition to the season calendar, organized after a positive coronavirus case was discovered on a plane more than 70 players used to get to Australia to prepare for the Australian Open, set to begin on Monday, February 8. The players, including Kontaveit, were forced to self-isolate in their hotel rooms for 14 days, not being allowed to move outdoors for any reason, leaving training to be done in their room.
In addition, all matches on Thursday in the Grampians Trophy and concurrent Gippsland Trophy tournaments were cancelled after a coronavirus case was diagnosed among the hotel staff players are staying in. The scare passed quickly however with matches continuing the next day.
Kaia Kanepi (WTA 94th) is also in Australia to prepare for the Grand Slam, participating in the aforementioned Gippsland Trophy warm-up tournament. She will face off against Karolina Muchova (WTA 27th) later on Friday.
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste