Estonian tennis star Anett Kontaveit is to part company with her British coach Nigel Sears, ending three years' cooperation. Sears' replacement will be Estonian Ain Suurthal.
"I felt it was time to move on," Kontaveit said of the development.
"I am very grateful to Nigel for all of that time and dedication. My game improved quite a bit in three years, I improved in many areas and my game became more solid and stable – and this is definitely thanks to him. He was a great coach. I will remember the time very positively. "
The period saw the Estonian, 25, from Tallinn, reach her highest WTA ranking in her career to date, 14th, which she achieved in April 2019. She is currently in 29th place, having dropped two spots in the recently announced, revised WTA stats.
Kontaveit reached the finals of the Wuhan tournament in China in fall 2018, just a few months after Nigel Sears became her coach, and reached the semi-finals in Miami and the finals of the Stuttgart tournament (whose quarter finals she reached this year).
Early 2020 saw her reach the quarter finals of a grand slam tournament for the first time, in Australia, while this year she reached round three of the same competition. Kontaveit got to round four of last year's U.S. Open.
Sears said that: "I think that we have had great cooperation with Anett. We have traveled the world together, and we have had some great, shared experiences; we have always done very well and I am delighted to have been a part of her development."
"She achieved a lot during this period, although a coach always wants more! I believe that Anett has the potential to reach the top ten in the world, and by working hard, she can also become take a grand slam title," Sears added, noting that her general level of play and her versatility had come on during their time together.
Sears' replacement is Ain Suurthal. Suurthal has already traveled to Madrid ahead of her next match.
Suurthal said that he did not have to think about the offer for long, adding that it would be both a challenge and a responsibility.
"[Anett's] offer of cooperation was a great surprise, I gladly accepted it," he said.
Editor: Andrew Whyte