Kaia Kanepi makes Paris tournament semi-finals

Kaia Kanepi and others on court at the Haabneeme ITF tennis tournament.
Kaia Kanepi and others on court at the Haabneeme ITF tennis tournament. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

Kaia Kanepi is through to the semi-finals of the WTA125-category tournament in Paris, France, after coming from a set down against Donna Vekic (Croatia) to win, 3:6, 6:4, 6:1.

Kanepi, ranked 46th in the world, defeated Russian player Kamilla Rakhimova in the opening round and 17-year-old Czech player Linda Fruhvirtova in round two of the tournament, effectively a warmer for the French Open, which starts later in the month.

Kanepi and Vekic, once ranked as high as 19th in the world (November 2019) but now ranked 106th, had met competitively twice in the past before Friday's match, most recently in Australia, while the head-to-head record was 2:0 in the Croat's favor.

The 35-minute opening set saw the Estonian, 36, from Haapsalu, lose 6:3. Set two was evenly matched, and Kanepi soon found herself 5:4 up in games and 40:15 up in the 10th game, with Vekic serving, meaning she had in hand three break-points on the serve and three set-points. In the event Kanepi only needed the first of these, breaking and taking the set 6:4.

The decider went all the Estonian's way, as she dropped just one game to take the set 6:1 and with it the match.

On Saturday, Kanepi faces Clair Liu (U.S., 118th in the world), who beat Varvara Gracheva (Russia) in straight sets in her quarter-final game. Kanepi and Liu have never met on court before.

Estonia's top player, Anett Kontaveit, was put out of the WTA Rome tournament, a higher-tier WTA1000 competition, after losing to another Croatian player, Petra Martic, in straight sets earlier in the week.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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