Kontaveit to return early from US tour after loss in Miami

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Anett Kontaveit. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Estonian tennis player Anett Kontaveit fell to world 17th-ranked Belgian Elise Mertens in three sets (6:2, 0:6, 6:2) in a Women's Tennis Association (WTA) tournament in Miami on Sunday and will return to Estonia to prepare for the upcoming clay court season.

Kontaveit fell behind 0:3 to start the match, broke Mertens' serve in the following game but then dropped her own right after, falling behind 1:4 in the opening set en route to a 6:2 set win for Mertens.

Kontaveit responded well to the lost set however and saved a break ball in the opening game of the second set, turning the tide of the set. Mertens began making mistakes and also experienced difficulties in her serve, committing six double faults with four coming in one single game. Kontaveit took a clean 6:0 second set to equalize the match at 1:1.

Due to the heat being on in Miami, the players were given a ten-minute break before the deciding set. Kontaveit took the first game of the decider 40:0, her seventh consecutive game win but then dropped five consecutive to Mertens who opened a 5:1 lead in the third set. The Belgian eventually wrapped up the match with a 6:2 third set, taking a 2:1 win over the Estonian.

Kontaveit served up one ace and committed two double faults to Mertens' five aces and ten double faults. The Estonian realized on four of her nine potential break points, Mertens used up five of her six break point chances.

"I made mistakes on simple shots in the start of the third set, gifting points to Mertens and she was energized from it," Kontaveit told Delfi (link in Estonian). "It came down to the details. Mertens began making mistakes in the second set, but she got back into the match in the third. She is a smart tennis player, forced me to be aggressive, hit more precisely than should have while also knowing where I will aim. That is where mistakes come in.

Kontaveit decided to return to Estonia after the loss in Miami and not continue on her U.S. tour. "I saw that the Charleston tournaments will finish a few days before the clay court season starts in Europe which is why I will come home and get prepared for those. I will next play in Stuttgart in mid-April," the top Estonian player said.

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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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