Anett Kontaveit has made a tennis comeback by winning 6:1, 6:1 against world number 49 Alycia Parks (U.S.) on the clay courts at the WTA Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome.
Kontaveit, currently ranked 82nd in the world, had not won a competitive match since early February, going into Tuesday's encounter, and has been dogged by a niggling back injury.
While she lost the opening game, she responded unequivocally by breaking her opponent's service three times, taking the set 6:1.
In the second set, Kontaveit similarly lost just one game to the American, wrapping things up in an hour and six minutes.
Kontaveit pulled off one ace to two double faults; for Parks, that ratio was two to 11. In a similar vein, the Estonian converted six out of 10 break points, compared with one out of two for Parks.
Kontaveit beats Alycia Parks 6-1 6-1 in Rome R1— The Tennis Letter (@TheTennisLetter) May 9, 2023
I have to say, seeing Anett back on court & looking healthy & happy made my day.
Between getting Covid & dealing with a back injury, Anett kept her trademark sunny personality ☀️
Can't keep this woman down ❤️ pic.twitter.com/KLqwzGYpB0
Kontaveit will now face world number 16 Liudmila Samsonova (Russia) in round two at the Foro Italico. The pair have never met competitively before.
Meanwhile at the same tournament, Estonia's top player by rankings at present, Kaia Kanepi went out in a much lengthier face off, losing over three sets to Marketa Vondroušova (Czech Republic), 6-0, 4-6, 6-2.
Vondroušova and Kanepi are currently ranked right next to each other in the WTA table, at 70th and 71st respectively.
Kanepi, who had earlier in the week gone out of an ITF tournament in round two in Wiesbaden, Germany, committed three double faults in the defeat, and failed to convert all three break points presented to her.
Kanepi atoned for a 6:0 loss in set one by pulling things back from a deficit, to win set two 6:4.
In the decider, the Czech player was soon 5:1 up and while Kanepi rescued two match points in the seventh game, Vondroušova, who will face Biancan Andreescu (Canada) in round two, held on to take set and match.
The entire encounter lasted an hour and 54 minutes.
The Italian Open is to be followed later in the month by the second grand slam competition of the year, also played on clay, the French Open, at Roland Garros.
Editor: Andrew Whyte, Henrik Laever