Anett Kontaveit is through to round two of the Wimbledon Championships, after overcoming Bernarda Pera of the United States in straight sets, 7:5, 6:1. Kaia Kanepi lost her first round encounter with Diane Parry (France), 6:4, 6:4.
Both players were seeded ahead of the tournament, which started Monday. Kontaveit is seeded number two, while Kanepi was seeded 31st.
Kontaveit dropped one place in the freshly-announced WTA rankings to third as of the start of the week, had last played competitively at last month's French Open following a bout with Covid at the end of April and so missed the Eastbourne tournament – where last year she had been a finalist – and recently acquired a new coach in Torben Beltz, with Monday being the first test for the new partnership.
Nonetheless, the Estonian, 26, from Tallinn, prevailed, in a game lasting just under 90 minutes on Court No. 2, beating Pera, ranked 123rd, in straight sets and saying post-match that: "I love playing on grass. I'm so pleased and just really, really happy...It's been an incredible feeling being the second seed. I didn't play any lead-up tournaments, so not a lot of confidence to take from that, but I was really enjoying myself out here and was glad to be playing again."
Kontaveit immediately saved four break points in game one and went on to break Pera's serve and was soon 3:0 up in games in set one. After soon saving two break points, the score stood at 4:1, yet Pera was not done, stringing together four games in a row to find herself 5:4 up. Kontaveit mounted a fight-back, however, and took the set 7:5.
The second set was more one-sided with Kontaveit breaking her opponent's serve several times to win 6:1, and take the match.
Kontaveit served up five aces to Pera's one, while both players committed six double-faults during the match.
Kontaveit will face Jule Niemeier in round two. The German is ranked 97th in the world and beat Wang Wiyu of China in two sets, 6:1, 6:4. The pair have not met competitively on the WTA circuit before.
Kanepi out of Wimbledon singles
Meanwhile Kaia Kanepi was playing almost concurrently with her compatriot, over one Court 15 and against 19-year-old Diane Parry, ranked 77th in the world.
Kanepi, 37, has seen a rally in form lately which has brought her back into the top 40 for the first time in several years (38th in the world as of Monday) but still lost the first set 6:4, after breaking her opponent's serve just once.
In set two, the Estonian, from Haapsalu, went 3:1 up, but a few games later and after both players had broken each other's service, the score-line was 4:4. After another break by Parry, the French player held her serve to take the set 6:4 again, and with it the match.
Kanepi served up five aces and committed five double faults throughout the encounter; the respective figures for Parry were three and one.
Kanepi realized two of four break points presented to her, Parry converted four of seven.
Hemp made two of the four breaking chances, and Parry was able to use four of the seven breaking balls.
"Overall, it seemed like I had some very good gems in my a service, but some that didn't work so well. I think not only on my service, but the whole game was a bit up and down," Kanepi told portal Delfi post match (link in Estonian).
The championships are not completely over for Kanepi, however. She will be in action in the women's doubles tomorrow with her Czech playing partner, Renata Voracova.
Editor: Andrew Whyte