Former Estonian number one tennis player Anett Kontaveit, who retired from the sport prematurely last year due to injury, said she is very proud of what she managed to achieve in her career.
"Ever since I was a child, it's always been about making sacrifices. The competition is huge in tennis – it's the most popular women's sport in the world according to some statistics. There are so many people who want to be there, and in order to get there, you have to work harder than others or you have to be something special," Kontaveit told ERR.
"I think to be in the top 20 in such a highly competitive sport is a great achievement. Of course it was a constant sacrifice all the time, training, being abroad, being away from family. All the things that other people might take for granted, I often didn't have. It was a lot of hard work, and it was a lot of hard work to go out and compete. I couldn't make any plans, everything was always on a tennis schedule and everything... my whole life has revolved around a tennis tour schedule."
Kontaveit, who won six WTA titles, reached a career high of number two in the WTA (Women's Tennis Association) rankings in early June 2022. "It's perhaps difficult to answer the question of what being world number two means to me now, because I finished my career so recently that I haven't had time to look back on everything that happened. I think in four or five months or after half a year, I will be able to articulate and define it a little better. But I think it's just an achievement that I never thought could happen in my career. My goal was always to reach the top ten. And the fact that I achieved that goal so well is definitely something to be really proud of, and when you think about it, all the sacrifices that had to be made seem so self-evident," said Kontaveit.
"When I think back on my career, I'm the kind of person who doesn't have many regrets about anything I've done, even if it hasn't gone exactly the way I wanted it to. Because I always give a hundred percent and I know that throughout my career I gave as much as I could every time. In that sense, I'm very proud of myself and I'm very happy with what I achieved."
"I think tennis has given me a lot of confidence in everything I do. I always have this belief that I can do anything. That I can do everything. I don't even know if it's just down to tennis or if it's a little bit because of the way I was brought up. But I feel like I can do everything," said Kontaveit.
The ETV documentary "Tennisesajand," which provides an overview of the history of tennis in Estonia, can be seen (in Estonian) here.
Editor: Michael Cole