Anett Kontaveit, who retired in the summer, played her last match in Tallinn's Tondiraba Icehall against her good friend Ons Jabeur, ranked sixth in the world. Jabeur won the match 6:4, 4:6, 10:7.
Kontaveit, who became world number two last summer, said at her summer press conference that she still wanted to play her last match in front of her home crowd.
"I am happy to be able to play one more game of tennis in front of my home crowd for the last time. I am looking forward to what I think will be an enjoyable evening," Kontaveit told ERR.
Jabeur has reached three grand slam finals, the most recent of which was at Wimbledon this year.
"When I thought of such an event, Jabeur was the first player who came to mind; she was my first choice," Kontaveit said in the summer.
This year marked the conclusion of Kontaveit's professional career with her final match at Wimbledon. In October, she placed first in a tournament for retired tennis players in Luxembourg.
Since making her WTA Tour début in 2012, she has reached the finals of 17 WTA tournaments, winning six of them. In 2021, Kontaveit became the first Estonian to reach the WTA Finals.
Kontaveit has held the number two spot in the global rankings since June 2022.
In the opening set, the decisive moments came at 4:4 when Jabeur managed to break Kontaveit's serve and then saved five break points on her own ball. In the second set, Kontaveit trailed 2:4, but then won four games in a row to take the second set. In the fast final game of the match, Jabeur took a 7-5 lead, Kontaveit tied the match at 7-7, but the world number six claimed the last three points.
"It is an honor to be here in front of such a large crowd and to compete against Ons, who is a terrific tennis player and a fantastic person, and to have Kader, one of my favorite referees, with us today," Kontaveit said. "I'm grateful for such excellent ball boys and line judges."
"I am overjoyed that I was able to say goodbye to everyone on the tennis court once again," she said holding tears. "I feel like I've done something really right in my life since I've been able to bring such an audience here."
"I want to thank Anett for picking me as her leave competitor, but I am still trying to encourage her to return to the professionals," Jabeur said. "Even if the audience was clearly on Anett's side, I am overjoyed to be in Tallinn for the first time, and the crowd was fantastic. If you ever host a competition here, maybe I'll come back and Anett will coach me."
"I would like to thank Anett for welcoming me to her lovely country and I wish her the happiest of life. I am hoping to see you around and that you're still willing to coach me. Thank you for all of those lovely moments on the court!" she said.
Editor: Maarja Värv, Kristina Kersa