Tallinn WTA250 day three: Kanepi comes from a set down to beat Ostapenko

Kaia Kanepi beat Latvian player Jelena Ostapenko in three sets, 4:6, 6:4, 6:0 after coming back from being a set down before a home crowd at the WTA250 Tallinn Open Wednesday.

The result was the 11th this season where Kanepi has gone on to win after losing the opening set, while the match lasted close to two hours at the FORUS Tennis Center in Tondi.

The pair had played each other once before, with Ostapenko triumphing that time, back in 2018.

Kanepi started off well, going 4:2 up only to lose four-in-a-row and find herself 5:4 down. While she saved one set point in the next game, with the score 40:0 against her, the Latvian, 17th in the world rankings, came good in the next set point.

The second set saw Kanepi, 37, from Haapsalu and ranked 32nd in the world, go 5:0 up after breaking three times, after which Ostapenko complained of feeling unwell and took a medical break, which resumed after her blood pressure was tested.

Kanepi had the set in hand at 40:0 up in the next game, but Ostapenko pulled back to break, and took four games in-a-row, again. However, Kanepi held on to take the set 6:4.

In the decider, Kanepi finally fully took control, not dropping a game and winning on the first match point she faced.

Kanepi served six aces throughout and committed six double faults, while Ostapenko served just one ace, and doubled-faulted four times.

Kanepi converted seven out of 11 breakpoints; Ostapenko four out of eight.

Speaking post match about what happened in the second set, when she was just a point from set victory, Kanepi joked that: "I had lost the rhythm of my serve, so it seems that I need to practice more."

"I did want to win as soon as possible," Kanepi added.

"At the start, I actually felt pretty good, but then for a while she played very well, right at the end of the set. I didn't let that get out of my mind. I tried to keep playing and try what other approaches I could, then, luckily, it turned out well for me," she continued.

"Every win means a lot, but you never know how many more games you will get to play in Estonia. Every match I play here is very special, so thank you to everyone who came to watch," she added, thanking the home crowd for their vocal support.

Kanepi faces Ann Li (US, WTA 62nd), who beat her compatriot Claire Liu (WTA 73rd) 6:2, 7:5 in round one.

Bencic, Krejcikova, Zhang, Maia through to quarter-finals

Meanwhile reigning olympic champion, tournament second seed and world number 14 Belinda Bencic (Switzerland) beat British player Katie Boulter in three sets, 6:4, 6:7 (2:7), 6:3, booking her place in the quarter finals where she will play Shuai Zhang (WTA 26th).

Zhang defeated Viktoria Kuzmova (Slovakia, WTA 151st), who had come through qualifying, in two sets, both of which went to tie-breaks: 7:6 (7:4), 7:6 (10:8). 

Barbora Krejcikova (Czech Republic, WTA 27th) beat Ukrainian Marta Kostjuk (WTA 56th) 7:5, 6:3, and is also in the quarter finals, where she will face world number 15 Beatriz Haddad Maia (Brazil).

Maia beat 17-year-old Linda Noskova (Czech Republic) 6:1, 7:5.

Krejcikova and Maia will meet on Friday morning at 10:00 a.m. Estonian time.

Anett Kontaveit out of doubles

Meanwhile in the doubles, local hero Anett Kontaveit, who won her round one singles game against China's Wang Xiyu Tuesday, and her partner Erin Routliffe (NZ) went out after losing 3:6, 7:5, 10:6 to Nicole Melichar-Martinez (US) and Laura Siegemund (Germany).

After winning the first set, Kontaveit and Routliff trailed 3:1 in games in set two, though fought back to take things to 5:5. However, no tie-break was needed as Siegemund and Melichar-Martinez then won two games in a row to take the match to a decisive final set, which the Estonian and the New Zealander were 3:0 up in in one point, then going down three games in a row.

With things at 6:6, the American and the German then won four in-a-row to take set and match, and they will face Anna-Lena Friedsam (Germany) and Viktoria Kuzmova (Slovakia) in the next round.

The official tournament site is here.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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