Anett Kontaveit, whose professional tennis career came to an almost two weeks ago, following her second-round exit at Wimbledon, appeared on ETV's "Ringvaade suvel" show on Tuesday, where she looked back on a successful career and discussed her future.
"I've been quietly going to the gym and exercising. I've been busy, I've been learning. It's definitely an unusual time. I think it's going to take a while to figure out what things are going to look like. For it to become normal," said the former WTA No. 2, when describing life since her professional tennis career drew to a close on July 6.
Kontaveit added that, while she is yet to make any big plans for the future, she will be heading to New York to see Canadian rapper Drake perform later this week. "That's the thing, I haven't been able to plan things like this in advance like this, or take the time [to do them]," she explained.
Kontaveit then spoke about the back injury, which ultimately forced her to end her career early. She said that after trying everything possible to be able to carry on, it was a tough decision to eventually call it a day.
"There was a long period of reflection, weighing things up and trying different options to somehow make [my back] better. Nothing helped and I felt I could no longer give 100 percent of myself on the court. Of course, there were many, many emotions throughout those months."
"I had degenerative changes to the disc of my lower back. It hurt, it still does if I stand up for too long or do other work. It hurt when the workload was too heavy, it hurt when the games were physical. I couldn't take more than an hour of playing," Kontaveit explained, adding that she also felt pain in her back when going about her everyday life.
Looking back on a career spanning over a decade, Kontaveit said that she has a lot to be proud of.
"The tournament wins are very close to my heart. The first tournament win was a very important moment in my career, definitely the quarter-finals of the Australian Open and the final of the WTA Finals tournament. Those are the things that have given me the most memories to cherish," she said.
"[There have been] a lot of things to be very happy about and to have had people who were able to celebrate with me. There have also been some moments when things have been harder. The whole experience is something I will keep in my heart."
Last summer, Kontaveit reached number two in the WTA (Women's Tennis Association) world rankings, though her aim of lifting a Grand Slam trophy remained out of reach.
"I know I gave it my all, and as much as I could. Unfortunately, my back was the way it was. It got a lot of knocks before it finally gave in. I'm not the type of person who regrets things very much. I know that I gave it my best and it went how it went. It's better to concentrate on the positive things I achieved than to think about what I didn't do," said Kontaveit, who added, that she now wants to lead a quieter and more regular life.
On Tuesday, Kontaveit announced that she will play one final farewell match against Tunisia's Ons Jabeur (WTA No. 6) at the Tondiraba Ice Hall in Tallinn on November 11. Jabeur, who reached the final of the women's singles at Wimbledon this month, is a close friend of Kontaveit.
"I will definitely have to [pick up the racket again] before then to play Ons Jabeur. To do that, I'll definitely have to start training properly. I'm trying to keep in shape now so that training again won't be such a shock to my body. But I will have to prepare properly for a long time before I will be able to keep up with her," said Kontaveit.
Editor: Michael Cole