Anett Kontaveit is out of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California after losing in three sets to Markéta Vondroušová (Czech Republic), 6:3, 5:7, 6:7 (5) in a face-off that lasted almost three hours.
Kontaveit, who had seen off and Kristina Kucova (Slovakia) to get to round three and was seeded fourth for the tournament, served strongly in set one and quickly took a first-set lead of 4:1 and, while her opponent, ranked 33rd in the world and silver medalist at last year's Tokyo Olympics, headed off four break points in game six, this was not enough to stave off Kontaveit's 6:3 victory.
Set two saw the Estonian start poorly, having her serve broken and soon trailing 3:0. While she was able to mount a fightback, with thigs at 6:5 in the Czech player's favor, Vondroušová only needed to win one more game to take the set. Kontaveit, ranked a career-high 5th in the world, committed 18 unforced errors to her opponent's seven, through the set.
The decisive set was even closer, and while the Estonian took an early lead 4:2, Vondroušová strung together three games in a row, before the set headed to a tie-break. While Kontaveit saved three match-points, the dominant Vondroušová was successful on the fourth, and took the set and with it the match.
The entire encounter at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden lasted two hours and 50 minutes, and Vondroušová faces Veronika Kudermetova (Russia) in round four.
Estonia's other top player, Kaia Kanepi, also went out in round three at Indian Wells, losing in straight sets 7:6 (7:4), 6:3 to Briton Harriet Dart.
Editor: Andrew Whyte