Kontaveit and Martincova to play each other for second time in a week

Anett Kontaveit, who was runner-up in last week's inaugural Tallinn Open, in her home town, is set to face her round two opponent from that competition, this time in Ostrava, the Czech Republic.

This means it is the turn of Tereza Martincova, ranked 78th in the world, who Kontaveit saw off 6.2, 6:1 in Tallinn last Thursday, to play before a home crowd, and in the same round two stage.

Kontaveit, ranked 3rd by the WTA, is also defending champion, having prevailed over Maria Sakkari in Ostrava last year.

This time around, Martincova defeated Swiss player Jill Teichman in round one – Teichmann had also played in Tallinn – while Kontaveit had a bye in the opening round.

Should the Estonian be successful in the upcoming match, to be played Wednesday morning, Kontaveit would face either Russian player Ekaterina Aleksandrova (WTA 21st), who put two-time Slam champion Viktoria Azarenka out in round one, or Briton Emma Raducanu or world number 11 Darja Kasatkina (Russia), in round two.

Raducanu and Kasatkina have yet to play their round one game at the time of writing.

Kontaveit has been working with German coach Torben Beltz for over three months now, and says she is satisfied with the result so far

"Cooperation with the coach is getting better all the time, we understand each other better and the whole thing is moving in the right direction," Kontaveit told ERR.

"I'm very satisfied. I've had a really difficult year in general, where ... I was completely out for three months or even more with the coronavirus, fatigued all the time and couldn't play any game fully for any great length of time," she said.

"All this will also affect when my form comes back," continued the Estonian. 

"This takes away a little bit of the confidence, the momentum that I felt I had at the beginning of the year. In any case, I'm having a difficult year, but I'm glad that at least this [Tallinn] tournament has gone positively," she went on.

Other challenges Kontaveit faced was the loss of her previous coach, former player Dmitry Tursunov. While Kontaveit had broken the top 10 for the first time ever towards the end of 2021 and under Tursunov's tutelage, as a Russian national, travel to international tournaments was becoming to complicated, where it was possible at all, prompting a split.

Of more recent hopeful signs, Kontaveit also got to the final in Hamburg in July, while coach Beltz noted that her hard work after coming back from illness and set back had paid off in Tallinn.

"She played some really good matches, especially the first four games I thought were very good - top class tennis. I'm looking forward to the next few weeks," Beltz said.

Kontaveit reached the final of the Tallinn Open, defeating her compatriot Kaia Kanepi in the semi-finals, the first time the pair had faced each other at WTA-level, but was defeated by yet another Czech player, Barbora Krejcikova, in straight sets. Krejcikova is not competing in the singles in Ostrava.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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