WTA news site: Kontaveit's next moves include going to college in the US

Anett Kontaveit bids goodbye to top-flight tennis.
Anett Kontaveit bids goodbye to top-flight tennis. Source: Wimbledon/Twitter

Anett Kontaveit may have closed the door on her WTA tennis career, but new doors are opening already, not all of them directly connected to tennis, according to WTA Insider.

One of these is studying, which she is doing in North America.

"I'm studying psychology at Indiana University, so I'm going to do that. I'll take more classes, giving me more to do. Hopefully I'll go on some spontaneous trips too. I have to find friends who are not working, though, which is very difficult," Kontaveit told WTA insider, in an interview conducted right after Thursday's game.

"Other than that, I don't have any major plans. I think I need to learn how to relax a little bit, take some time off and figure out what I want to do. I think studying is a big commitment already, so I'll deal with that for now," Kontaveit continued.

As for Thursday's game, despite losing, the Estonian said: "It was incredible to have Court 18 full of people, so many people cheering for me."

"Of course, the match didn't go the way I wanted it to, but I was so happy to be able to play in front of so many people, that so many people that love me were able to see me play for the last time – in the singles at least," she added.

Kontaveit told WTA Insider that there had been no clear point at which she decided to retire; the process was quite drawn out and emotional, and not one she wanted hammered out in the public eye – though her injury issues had started to concern her in 2022.

"I felt like I could not give 100 percent every time I was playing, so it was difficult mentally as well, not to be able to do that," she said, adding that continuing to play through that type of injury even when being properly managed by the best experts would have been tough.

Despite being competitors, not everyone on the circuit took the decision lying down, with Tunisian star and last year's Wimbledon runner-up being particularly intent on trying to persuade Anett to continue playing. "It's really sweet that they're trying [to talk me out of it]," Kontaveit added. "A lot of people tried."

Kontaveit listed making the WTA top 10, which she did last spring to summer, being the first Estonian to make the end-of-year WTA finals, at the end of 2021, making some great friends on the circuit, and following in compatriot Kaia Kanepi's footsteps as among her most meaningful moments, in addition to helping to raise the international profile of Estonia.

"I'd say now I feel at peace with [retiring], but it was definitely difficult before, especially right before the announcement. It was very hard. I was just sad and upset. It's been my whole life. This is what I've done for most of the 27 years that I've lived. So yeah, I think it was a difficult thing to process," she added.

Kontaveit announced last month that the degenerative lumbar issue had spelled the end of her top-flight, 13-years-long career, making Wimbledon her swansong.

While she is out of the singles now, she is appearing in the mixed doubles shortly after the time of writing, partnering Finland's Emil Ruusuvuori. 

The original WTA Insider interview is here.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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