Estonia's top tennis player Anett Kontaveit (WTA No. 79) is in action at Wimbledon on Monday in what is the final tournament of her professional career. Kontaveit's round one opponent is Italy's Lucrezia Stefanini (WTA No. 110).
27-year-old Kontaveit is currently ranked 79th in the WTA (Women's Tennis Association) world rankings, while her 25-year-old Italian opponent is 110th. The match will be the final or fourth match on court 15 and is due to get underway at 7.30 p.m. Estonian time at the earliest.
Allar Hint, head of the Estonian Tennis Federation (ETL), believes Kontaveit faces a tough task, but should make it through to round two. "Anett is the favorite in the match, but on the other hand, Stefanini is a qualifier who is three games in. That definitely balances things out. Nothing is going to be easy," Hint said in an interview with ERR last week.
Victory for Kontaveit will most likely mean a second round tie with Marie Bouzkova of the Czech Republic (WTA No. 32). Bouza faces Switzerland's Simona Waltert (WTA No. 115) in round one.
On June 20, Kontaveit announced that she would be ending her professional tennis career due to a long-term back injury, with Wimbledon her last tournament.
"This is an extremely emotional decision for me because I love tennis. I love the game, which has been the center of my life so far, my passion and my goal has been to achieve maximum results. Every professional player knows how hard it is to reach the top in tennis and it's even harder to stay there. For every title win you have to push yourself not only physically, but also mentally," Kontaveit said.
Estonia's second-ranked player Kaia Kanepi is also in action at Wimbledon on Monday.
Kanepi (WTA No. 101) faces Russia's Veronika Kudermetova (WTA No. 12), who competes under a neutral flag, in a first round match, starting at 1 p.m. Estonian time.
The two have played three times before, with Kanepi leading 2-1 in head-to-heads. However, both the Estonia's victories date back to 2019 and we won on clay, not grass.
"Kaia certainly has a very tough opponent, who maybe hasn't had a result like this at Wimbledon, but let's just say her grass court record, both this year and last year, shows she can reach the semi-finals and finals. She also has grass matches under her belt, which neither Kaia nor Anett have at the moment," Estonian Tennis Federation (ETL) chief Allar Hint told ERR.
If Kanepi is successful, she will meet the winner of the match between the Czech Republic's Marketa Vondroušova (WTA No. 42) and Peyton Stearns (WTA No. 59) of the USA in the second round.
Editor: Michael Cole