Estonian tennis player Kaia Kanepi may be out of the singles at the prestigious, season-closing WTA1000 tournament in Guadalajara, Mexico, but she is still in the competition in the doubles, pairing up with Czech player Linda Fruhvirtova.
The pair won their round one encounter in the small hours (Estonian time) of Wednesday morning, beating Mexican-Colombian duo of Fernanda Contreras Gomez and Camila Osorio in straight sets, 6:2, 6:3
Kanepi, who recently returned to the top 30 in the WTA rankings after an eight-year absence, and Fruhvirtova, will face the winner out of Cha Hao-Ching (ROC) and Lucie Hradecka (Czech Republic) against number five seeds Ljudmła Kitšenok (Ukraine) and Jelena Ostapenko (Latvia).
Also noteworthy is the age gap between Kanepi, age 37, and the 17-year-old Fruhvirtova.
While Kanepi is not the oldest player competing in Guadalajara – in fact potential round two opponent Hradecka has her beaten by 20 days – she had nonetheless six ITF tournament trophies in her cabinet by the time her current doubles partner was born, and reached her first-ever WTA semi-finals when Fruhvirtova was just four months old.
Both players are out of the singles – Kanepi lost to Russian Liudmila Samsonova, while Fruhvirtova lost in straight sets to Sloane Stephens (US).
Anett Kontaveit is not playing in the tournament, after injuring her back in Ostrava, the Czech Republic.
Editor: Andrew Whyte