Anett Kontaveit is through to the second round of the Eastbourne Nature Valley International Tennis Tournament, after beating Harriet Dart of the United Kingdom in three sets, 3:6, 6:4, 6:2.
Although Dart, 28, ranked 157th in the world, won the first set after breaking the Estonian's serve, on the grass at the Devonshire Park club at Eastbourne, on the south coast of England, Kontaveit, ranked 20th in the world, took control from midway in the second set. Dart required brief medical treatment when things stood at 5:3. The Briton was able to win one more game before Kontaveit clinched the set.
The third set saw Kontaveit take the first two long, closely-fought games before Dart replied by winning a game of her own. This pattern continued with Kontaveit winning her next service game, and Dart her own in turn, until things stood at 4:2.
Kontaveit broke Dart's serve without the latter putting a point on the board in the next game, cruising to victory in the third set, and thus the match, one game later at 6:2.
The pair had never met on the adult circuit; they last played each other at youth level in Australia in 2013, Kontaveit winning that encounter in two sets.
Kontaveit, 23, from Tallinn, will face either Fiona Ferro (France) or Anna-Lena Friedsam (Germany) in the next round of the Eastbourne tournament.
The Eastbourne tournament is part of a series of warm-ups, all played on grass in England, to the Wimbledon Championships, one of the four grand slam competitions, in July. It follows the Birmingham tournament played last week, where Kontaveit was defeated by another Briton, Johanna Konta, in the first round, and runs concurrent with the mens' competition at the Queen's Club in West Kensington, London.
Editor: Andrew Whyte