Kontaveit through to round three in Qatar
Anett Kontaveit is through to round three of the top-tier WTA 1000 Qatar TotalEnergies Open after beating Ana Konjuh (Croatia) in Doha in straight sets, 6:2, 6:3.
Kontaveit, ranked 7th in the world, went into the game with a 2-0 record over the Croat, ranked 51st worldwide, with the last encounter taking place back in 2018 in Stuttgart.
The game was played on hard courts at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex in Doha which, given the location, meant no indoor venue was needed - somewhat of a Kontaveit meme of late (see tweet below).
Both players struggled with their service in set one, though while Kontaveit was broken twice, Konjuh had lost all four of her service games, making the score 6:2 to the Estonian.
Kontaveit continued the form at the start of set two, breaking her opponent's serve and taking a 3:0 lead. Both players held their serves after that, meaning Kontaveit came off victorious 6:3 in the second set, handing her the match.
Who needs a roof? ♀️— wta (@WTA) February 21, 2022
@AnettKontaveit_ continues her form to progress to the last 16 in Doha!#QatarTennis pic.twitter.com/1xq7AcvMtL
The stats on service showed a below-60 percent first serve success rate for both players in set one, rising to 70 percent for Kontaveit, compared with 63 percent for Konjuh, in the second set.
Both players picked up more than 70 percent of their points off the first serve.
Kontaveit faces either Petra Kvitova (Czech Republic, 21st in the world) or Elise Mertans (Belgium, 26th) in round three.
Kvitova has a 5:3 head-to-head record over Kontaveit, while Mertans has won three times to Kontaveit's one, in their encounters so far.
On Monday Kontaveit fell one spot from her all-time career-high ranking of sixth in the world, in the freshly published WTA lists, while her compatriot, Kaia Kanepi, also fell one place, to 63rd
Kontaveit broke the top 10 for the first time late last year off the back of a strong second-half of the season, rising to sixth after her victory in the St. Petersburg tournament earlier this month.
Her defeated opponent in that game, Maria Sakkari (Greece) overtook Kontaveit to sixth place in Monday's WTA rankings.
The top five are: Ashleigh Barty (Australia), Arina Sabalenka (Belarus), Barbora Krejcikova (Czech Republic), Paula Badosa (Spain) and Karoline Pliskova (Czech Republic).
Latvia's top player, Jelena Ostapenko, is now 13th after winning last week's WTA500 tournament in Dubai.
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Editor: Andrew Whyte