World top 10 tennis player Anett Kontaveit has expressed her support for holding a Women's Tennis Association (WTA) tournament in her home town.
The opportunity for hosting the tournament, a WTA250 event, was announced earlier this month, but opposed by Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) who said it was not a sufficiently top-tier competition to merit state support, adding its timing in October was not ideal, that the economic benefits of hosting the competition were dubious, and that it was not clear if Kontaveit or Estonia's other top women's tennis player, Kaia Kanepi, would take part.
Writing on her social media account, Kontaveit said that: "Bringing the WTA tournament to Estonia would be a great thing for our tennis here, and the country. Top tennis players fighting together to win a tournament in our Estonia," adding the plan had her full support.
As reported by ERR News, the domestic tennis association was offered the possibility of hosting the WTA tournament for three consecutive years, starting this year, with the hope being that not only the state but also Tallinn city government and the private sector would provide the funds.
The association must provide its answer to the WTA by next Tuesday, ERR reports.
An International Tennis Federation (ITF) tournament was held in Haabneeme, in Viimsi, just outside Tallinn, last November, with Kanepi competing, while an exhibition tournament held in Tondi in July 2020 saw both Kontaveit and Kanepi taking part.
WTA250 tournaments are in the fourth-tier of the organization's competitive hierarchy, while the ITF is an extra circuit and generally a feeder organization to the WTA.
The four grand-slam tournaments make up the top level; the WTA1000 and WTA500 competitions the second and third.
Kontaveit broke the top 10 in the world late on last year after a very strong second half to the season, reaching number six, her highest-ever position and indeed the highest that any tennis player from Estonia has ever reached, after winning the recent St. Petersburg tournament.
Editor: Andrew Whyte