Anett Kontaveit through to round two at Wimbledon

Anett Kontaveit in action at Wimbledon.
Anett Kontaveit in action at Wimbledon. Source: SCANPIX/Reuters

Anett Kontaveit overcame Lucrezia Stefanini (Italy) 6:4, 6:4 in round one at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships Wednesday, the Estonian player's swansong tournament.

Wimbledon 2023 is the Estonian's last full competitive tournament following her announcement last month that lingering back issues mean the end of her career, making Tuesday's match all the more significant.

Rain disrupted both day one and day two in SW19, and Kontaveit, now ranked 81st by the WTA, and Stefanini, who places 30 spots lower down, didn't take to court number six until around 3 p.m. Estonian time Wednesday, while the match itself also had to be put on pause, due to further showers.

Kontaveit, 27, whose furthest progress in Wimbledon to date has been to round three, and Stefanini, 25, had not previously faced each other.

The Italian was making only her second ever grand slam appearance, the first having been in Australia early on this year.

Kontaveit went 3:2 up after breaking Stefanini's serve early on, only for rain to interrupt play for around an hour.

After returning to court, the score-line reached 4:4 before the showers returned, causing another half-hour delay – only Center Court and Court Number One have retractable roofs.

After the next return, Kontaveit broke again, to wrap up the set 6:4.

Set two saw a similar chain of events in terms of score progression, though this time the rain did not hamper play, and soon things were four apiece in games. However, Kontaveit dropped just the one point in the last two games, to take the set, and with it the match, 6:4.

The entire encounter's play lasted exactly 90 minutes, spread out over a much longer time frame due to the weather.

Kontaveit served up two aces and committed four double faults, compared with one and three respectively for Stefanini.

The Estonian converted four out of eight break points presented to her, while rescuing five out of the seven that she faced.

On the other hand, Kontaveit committed 31 unforced errors, to her opponent's 13.

Kontaveit will next play world number 32 Marie Bouzkova of the Czech Republic.

Bouzkova beat Simona Waltert (Switzerland, WTA 115th) in round one in a game which did go ahead on its original scheduled day, Monday, meaning she will have had a longer rest period than Kontaveit.

At the time of writing, the game will provisionally go ahead from 3.40 p.m. Estonian time, on court 18.

The pair have met once before, in 2020, when Kontaveit emerged victorious.

Kontaveit also features in episode eight of Netflix documentary series "Break Point", in a segment which makes for somewhat uncomfortable viewing, dealing as it does with her defeat by Serena Williams at last year's U.S. Open, in front of a highly partisan American crowd.

Kontaveit ranked as highly as second in the world this time last year, following a string of WTA tournament titles, but an ongoing lumbar disc issue has put paid to her career, at the age of 27.

Estonia's other top player, Kaia Kanepi, went out in round one at Wimbledon this year.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Anders Nõmm, Maarja Värv

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