Estonian top tennis player Anett Kontaveit (WTA 27th) kicked off her clay court season with a straight set victory over young German player Julia Middendorf at a WTA 500 tournament in Stuttgart.
Kontaveit opened the match by taking the first two games and after trading with the 18-year old German, the Estonian took the first set by taking three consecutive games from 2:3.
The unexperienced Middendorf put up a solid fight against the Estonian in the second, however. The players traded games until Kontaveit opened a 1:3 lead but gave up the fifth game to Middendorf. The Estonian then saved five break points on her serve to take the sixth game for a 2:4 lead in the set, followed by another win for Middendorf. From 3:4, Kontaveit took two consecutive games to close out the set at 3:6 en route to a 2:0 (6:2, 6:3) victory.
"It was a difficult match, the first match on clay this season. I had not played this opponent before and I did not know much about her. I am very happy to win," Kontaveit said post-match. "I always enjoy plaing here. It is not the same without the crowd, but I really like this court."
Kontaveit served up two aces to Middendorf's three, both players committed a single double fault. Kontaveit saved all eight of her break points and won points on 70 percent of her first serves. The Estonian won 67 of the total 119 points in the match.
Kontaveit will next face off against world fourth-ranked U.S. player Sofia Kenin, who was on a bye to enter the round of 16.
"I do not think I have ever played against her before. I do not have to mention that she is a strong player, but I feel good and I am ready to face her," Kontaveit noted.
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste