Estonian tennis star and world number two Anett Kontaveit is through to round three of the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati, Ohio, after overcoming Tereza Martincova (Czech Republic) in a lengthy, three-set encounter, 3.6. 7:5, 6:4.
Kontaveit is also seeded second for the tournament, also known as the Cincinnati Masters, a high-level WTA1000 event and the last warmup competition ahead of the U.S. Open, which starts later this month.
As such she got a bye for round one, whereas Martincova, ranked 71st in the world, had had to come through qualification.
In an epic encounter on the outdoor hard-courts at the Lindner Family Tennis Center which lasted almost two-and-a-half hours and was also interrupted by rain, Kontaveit found herself 4:1 down in the opening set and, while she pulled back by breaking her opponent's serve, the lost her service in the next game, ultimately going down 6:3.
Set two started much as the first set had, with Kontaveit only managing to score a single point in the first three games, two of which were her service. However, this time she mounted a recovery which took her to set victory, 7:5, after breaking the Czech player's serve three times.
In the decider, things were evenly-matched after five games, with the Estonian ahead 3:2, only for the weather to break. The rain must have had some effect on Kontaveit's play, as she lost only one more game after the break, taking the set 6:4 and with it the match.
Kontaveit served up four aces and committed two double-faults throughout; for Martincova the figures were four and two respectively.
Kontaveit had a first service success rate of 58 percent and won 69 percent of her points from the first serve, compared with 70 percent and 63 percent respectively.
The Estonian realized six out of 15 breakpoints, compared with five out of 11 for Martincova.
Kontaveit will face the winner from Yekaterina Aleksandrova (WTA 27th) and China's Zhang Shuai (WTA 44th) in round three.
The U.S. Open starts on August 29.
Editor: Andrew Whyte