Anett Kontaveit is out of the Mutua Madrid Open after losing in straight sets, 6:3, 6:1, to Maria Sakkari of Greece.
In a clay court encounter which lasted an hour – half the length of time Kontaveit's round one battle with Serbian player Nina Stojanovic did – the Estonian fought to take things to 3:3 in the first set, only to lose the next 14 points straight, and thus the set, 6:3.
Kontaveit, who recently replaced her British coach Nigel Sears, with whom she'd worked for three years, with Estonian Ain Suurthal, only won one more game against Sakkari, 19th in the world, failing to capitalize on two break points in the set opener, then losing her serve in the second game, and soon things were 3:0. While Kontaveit won her next service game, she lost the following serve while her opponent held on to her own, taking the set and match 6:1.
Both players served up one ace and one double fault, and both players won 64 points off their first serves, though Sakkari's second service success was better, at 88, than Kontaveit's, at 50. The Estonian, ranked 29th in the world, had had issues with her serve in the previous game against Stojanovic.
Kontaveit committed 12 unforced errors compared with Sakkari's seven, while she failed to convert the two break points she was presented with, as noted, while Sakkari converted four out of seven.
Kontaveit is next in action in the Rome tournament starting May 10. Sakkari, seeded 16th for the tournament, faces Karoline Muchova (CZE) in round three in Madrid.
Estonia's other top tennis player, Kaia Kanepi, was put out of the Madrid tournament in round two of the qualifiers.
Editor: Andrew Whyte