Estonia's top tennis player Anett Kontaveit (WTA No. 2) will play Tereza Martincova of the Czech Republic (WTA No. 71) in the second round of the WTA (Women's Tennis Association) Western and Southern Open tournament in Cincinnati. Kaia Kanepi exits the tournament after defeat against former WTA number 1 Viktoria Azarenka.
Annet Kontaveit's round two opponent Martincova defeated Nuria Parrizas-Diaze (WTA No. 62) of Spain 6-7 (4), 6-4, 6-3 in a first round match that lasted over two and a half hours.
Kontaveit is seeded second in the tournament, meaning she starts the competition in round two. The Estonian will be hoping for a repeat of her last on court meeting with Martincova, which ended with a 6-4, 6-1 for the Estonian in Gstaad, Switzerland back in 2017.
Estonia's other leading tennis player Kaia Kanepi (WTA No.31) was knocked out of the Cincinnati tournament in the opening round by former world number one Viktoria Azarenka. Azarenka (WTA No. 22), who was born in Belarus but currently competes as a neutral, defeated Kanepi 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 in a match that also stretched beyond the two-hour mark.
After both players broke each other's serves in the opening games of the first set, Azarenka edged into the lead after breaking Kanepi again in the fifth. After saving two set points at 3-5, Kanepi double faulted to hand Azarenka the first set, 3-6.
Azarenka took a 2-0 and then 3-1 lead in set two, before Kanepi staged a strong comeback, taking the next four games in a row on her way to a 6-4 set victory.
The deciding set began with four consecutive breaks before Azarenka was able to hold serve. The Belarusian then broke Kanepi again before holding her own serve to take a 5-2 lead. Azarenka served out her last game without conceding a point to take the set 6-3 and book her place in round two.
In a testing week for Kanepi, this weas her third match in a week against a former WTA number 1. Kanepi won against Japan's Naomi Osaka in the opening round of the Toronto Open 7-6, 3-0, after her opponent forfeited the match due to injury, before losing 4-6, 4-6 to Spain's Garbine Muguruza in round two.
Azarenka, who is already a two-time Southern and Western Open champion, last faced Kanepi on court 13 years ago, when she also defeated the Estonian in straight sets in Cincinnati.
"If you had asked me when we last played, I wouldn't have remembered. She's a great player who has proven time and time again that she can play very well against top players. It was a very tough match and I'm glad I was able to turn it in my favor in the end," said Azarenka after the match.
Editor: Michael Cole