Anett Kontaveit is out of the WTA Sydney Tennis Classic after losing in three sets, to Barbora Krejčíková of the Czech Republic, 0:6, 6:4, 7:6 (14:12). The competition is a warmer for next week's Australian Open in Melbourne.
Krejčíková was looking for revenge after the season-ending defeat by Kontaveit in Guadalajara last November, but things initially looked to be going the same way in Sydney as they had in Mexico, with the Estonian sweeping all before her in the first set, stringing together six games on the trot.
Krejčíková's fight-back started in set two, however, as she took the set 6:4, with the deciding set really going to the wire. Things were even stevens in games, with regular play ending 6:6 and forcing a tie-break situation, which was a similar game of cat-and-mouse as both players broke each others service until the score was 12:12 in points.
The stats show how close things were.
Both players served up five aces, while Krejčíková committed four double faults to Kontaveit's three. Percentage wins on first and second serves were practically the same for each player, in the early-to-mid '60s, whicle Kontaveit won 38 receiving points to Krejčíková's 40. Kontaveit actually won more points (107) than Krejčíková (101), and more games too (16 to 13), won 12 service games to Krejčíková's 10 and had the longer wining points streak at nine in-a-row to her opponent's four.
Krejčíková won the next two, however, taking the tie-break 14:12 and with it set and match. She faces either Paula Badosa (Spain) or Darja Kasatkina (Russia) in the final. The pair have yet to play, in the second semi-final.
The Australian Open starts on Monday, Kontaveit faces another Czech player, Katerina Siniakova, in round one, her compatriot, Kaia Kanepi, will play former world number one Angelique Kerber (Germany).
Editor: Andrew Whyte