On-form Kontaveit through to Halloween weekend Transylvania semi-finals
Anett Kontaveit is through to the, for the time of year rather aptly-named Transylvania Open, in Romania, after overcoming Anhelina Kalinina (Ukraine) in straight sets, 6:3, 6:1.
The on-form Kontaveit went into the Romania tournament in Cluj-Napoca off the back of her win in Moscow Sunday, and in Ostrava, the Czech Republic, just under a month ago.
Recent successes have seen her rise to 14th place in the WTA rankings, her joint-highest placing in the 25-year-old's career so far.
Kontaveit defeated Belgian player Alison van Uytvanck in straight sets also, 6:3, 6:4, on Thursday, heading into Friday's semi-final.
While Kalinina, ranked 59th in the world, started well and went ahead after breaking Kontaveit's serve, the Estonian soon found her form to string together four games in a row, making the score 5:2 in games, losing one more game before taking the first set 6:3.
Set two was even more of a procession, as Kontaveit broke Kalinina's serve twice, getting to 4:0 and, while Kalinina held her serve once, it was not enough as Kontaveit took set and match 6:1.
The entire encounter lasted just over an hour; Kontaveit enjoyed a 63 percent success rate on her first serve to Kalinina's 53.2 percent, and scored 75 percent of her points from a first serve, 55.6 from the second (the figures for Kalinina were 56 percent and 36.4 per cent respectively).
Kontaveit won seven out of five break points presented to her and served up five aces, and committed one double fault.
Kalinina committed three double faults.
Kontaveit faces Rebecca Peterson of Sweden, ranked 99th in the world, in the semi-finals. Peterson overcame another Ukrainian, Lesia Tsurenko, in three sets in her quarter-final game.
Post-match, Kontaveit told Delfi (link in Estonian) that: "I felt I was able to raise my game today. I had a strong player to answer to. I knew I had to be ready to play the longer rallies and to be aggressive."
Kontaveit, who picked up a new coach earlier this year, former top player Dmitry Tursunov, said that constant work on physique training was in part behind her current streak of success.
She said "It's been an ongoing process. I've been working on my game and physique and things have gotten better. I've always made good shots, but in recent months I've been more stable and enjoyed being on court.
Kontaveit is also two wins from overtaking Ons Jabeur (Tunisia, ranked 8th) in the WTA rankings, having won 24 of her past 26 matches, and by so doing would net a place in the ATP end-of-year tournament in Guadalajara, Mexico, a showcase tournament featuring the top eight women's and men's players in the world.
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Editor: Andrew Whyte