Kaia Kanepi out of Indian Wells in round one
Kaia Kanepi is out of the Indian Wells Masters in California, after losing in straight sets 6:3, 7:6 (5) in round one, to Aliaksandra Sasnovich (Belarus).
Kanepi had gone out in round one of the Dubai WTA1000 event last month, and went out in the same stage in Australia in January, and recently dropped three places in the WTA rankings, to 51st.
She is nonetheless still at the moment Estonia's highest-placed player, picked up two break points in the opening game, but failed to convert either. While the set remained fairly even after that, Sasnovich, ranked 44th in the world, broke in game eight to take a 5.3 lead. After holding her serve in the next game, she took the set.
The Estonian started her second set in better mode and went 2:0 up, but following a break, Sasnovich fought back to 2:2. Kanepi broke again, however, to take a 4:2 lead.
In game seven, Kanepi found herself facing three break points and, while she rescued all of these, but the Belarusian eventually broke anyway, and soon had the scoreline in her favor at 5:4. While Kanepi broke once again, she was unable to go any further as things headed into a tie break.
Sasnovich showed her composure early on and too a 2:0 lead. While the Estonian, 37, from Haapsalu, fought back, taking the lead 3:2, this was reversed, with Sasnovich finishing 7:5 up in the end.
The entire encounter at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden lasted one hour and 39 minutes.
Sasnovich next faces Latvian Jelena Ostapenko, ranked 25th in the world, who had a bye into round two.
Anett Kontaveit is currently injured and did not compete in Indian Wells.
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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Henrik Laever