Anett Kontaveit ([aˈnet ˈkontaveit]; born 24 December 1995) is an Estonian professional tennis player.
Kontaveit has won one singles title on the WTA Tour as well as eleven singles and five doubles titles on the ITF circuit. In her career, she has reached one Premier Mandatory semifinal at the 2019 Miami Open and the final of the Premier 5 2018 Wuhan Open. She reached her best singles ranking of No. 14 on 1 April 2019 and peaked at No. 182 in the doubles rankings on 29 July 2019.
Kontaveit won the Estonian Championships in 2009 and again in 2010, being the youngest player ever in Estonia to do so.
Kontaveit had success on the junior tour in 2011, her best Grand Slam result of the year being at Roland Garros in May. There she made the quarterfinals with wins over world No. 6 Danka Kovinić and future-Wimbledon junior champion Ashleigh Barty. At the quarterfinal stage, she lost to Irina Khromacheva, the Wimbledon junior runner-up.
Kontaveit won her first ITF title in SEB Tallink Open 2011, beating Zuzana Luknárová in the final. She was also a member of Estonia Fed Cup team. Kontaveit has also had surprising success on the professional tour as she has won three titles. Besides these successes she has also had a semifinal singles result at a tennis tournament in Almere on clay and a quarterfinal result in another tournament in Tallinn. She also made the finals of the SEB Tallink Open in doubles with Maret Ani. She lost in the quarterfinals of the Tampere Open to Piia Suomalainen. Kontaveit won her second ITF title at the 2011 Savitaipale Open, where she beat Lisanne van Riet in the final.
Kontaveit continued her success with a third title win at the Djursholm Tennis Club Stockholm Open. She won the tournament by defeating top seed Marion Gaud and then Syna Kayser in the final.
On 11 December, Kontaveit won the Orange Bowl, a Grade A tournament on the ITF Junior Circuit. During the tournament, she beat Eugenie Bouchard and Yulia Putintseva, both having top 300 WTA rankings. Her junior ranking skyrocketted to her career high of No. 9.
She won the European Under-16 Junior Championships with 14-year-old Tatjana Vorobjova in girls' doubles, where they beat first seeded Czechs Barbora Krejčíková and Petra Rohanová.
2012: US Open junior finals
Kontaveit began her year at the Loy Yang Power Traralgon International, an under-18 girls tournament in Australia. Seeded second, she reached the third round where she lost to future junior Australian Open champion Taylor Townsend.
Next, Kontaveit headed to Melbourne for the junior Australian Open. She defeated Miho Kowase and Lee So-ra to advance to the third round, where she lost once more to eventual champion Taylor Townsend.
Kontaveit played the Fed Cup Europe/Africa Zone I, where she posted the biggest wins of her career. She started the event disappointingly, losing to Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria, but in her next two matches she had record breaking wins. She became the lowest ranked person to beat a top-50 player in seven years, with her straight-sets victory over Tamira Paszek of Austria. She then backed up her result with a win over Bibiane Schoofs of the Netherlands. Despite Kontaveit's solid performances, Estonia was relegated to the Fed Cup Europe/Africa Zone II.
In February 2012, Kontaveit won the $10,000 tournament in her hometown of Tallinn as an unseeded player. After this, she flew to the United Kingdom for a $25,000 tournament in Bath, Somerset. In the first round, Kontaveit defeated Frenchwoman Alizé Lim, backed up by another win over qualifier Patrysja Sanduska. However, she lost in the third round to another qualifier, Diāna Marcinkēviča.
Kontaveit was awarded a wild card for the qualifying draw of her first WTA tournament, the e-Boks Danish Open in Copenhagen. In the first round of qualifying, she defeated Lenka Wienerová to advance to the second qualifying round. Here she overcame fellow teenager Kristina Mladenovic, but was knocked out of the tournament in the final round of qualifying by Annika Beck.
Kontaveit's next tournament was a $25,000 event in Tunis. In the first round, she swept aside Lina Stančiūtė but was defeated by Richèl Hogenkamp in the second. Following this loss, Kontaveit played another $25,000 tournament in Chiasso, Switzerland, where she lost in the second round.
Kontaveit then played a girl's under-18 tournament in Milan, losing in the second round. After this, she reached the semifinals of the French Open girls' singles, losing to eventual champion Annika Beck. Then, to begin her short grass-court season, Kontaveit played an under-18 girl's tournament in Roehampton, once more losing in the second round. However, she saw better results at Wimbledon, reaching her second consecutive junior Grand Slam semifinal, where she lost to eventual champion Eugenie Bouchard.
In July, Kontaveit played the President's Cup $100,000 event in Astana, Kazakhstan. However, she lost in the first round of qualifying to top seed Sun Shengnan.
Kontaveit became the first Estonian to reach the final of the junior draw at the US Open, but she was defeated in straight sets by Samantha Crawford for the championship.
2013: Last junior year, top 250
Kontaveit began her final year in junior tennis at the Australian Open. After some convincing wins, including over higher ranked opponents including Antonia Lottner and Anna Danilina, she lost in the semifinals to Kateřina Siniaková.
In March, Kontaveit received a wild card into the Sony Open main draw in Miami courtesy of her management deal with IMG. Playing Christina McHale in the first round's night session, Kontaveit lost in straight sets.
She played the rest of the year at ITF tournaments, summing four titles from the five finals she reached, entering the world's top-250 for the first time at the age of 18.
2014: ITF wins, top 160 and onset of glandular fever
Kontaveit started the year ranked 249 in the WTA rankings. After qualifying for her first WTA tournament at the ASB Classic in Auckland, she then went on to play Fed Cup in Tallinn, winning 49 games in a row spanning three Fed Cup matches and two matches in the following week's ITF event in her hometown. After losing in the final to Timea Bacsinszky, she then played another ITF event in Moscow, where she lost in the final to Aliaksandra Sasnovich. After mediocre performances at the Sony Open and a WTA event in Monterrey, she performed well in a series of ITF tournaments on green clay in the United States. She held two match points to make the final of a tournament in Indian Harbour Beach, but lost the match to Taylor Townsend, who went on to win the tournament. Kontaveit lost in the final round of qualifying for the French Open.
Kontaveit qualified for Wimbledon for the first time in 2014. She held match point in the first round against Casey Dellacqua, but lost the match in three sets. She then qualified for the Swedish Open, beating top seed Alizé Cornet in the first round. She lost in the second round to Jana Čepelová.
Kontaveit travelled to North America and played in an ITF event in Vancouver, receiving a wild card into the Canadian Open, however did not play again for the remainder of the year after being diagnosed with infectious mononucleosis. At the end of the season, Kontaveit found a new coach in Australian Paul McNamee, and began training in Istanbul at the KozaWOS Academy.
2015: Recovery, Grand Slam breakthrough and top 100
After an extended training block in Australia to end 2014, Kontaveit's first tournament since the Canadian Open was the ASB Classic, where she lost to Urszula Radwańska in three sets. She then played her first Australian Open, defeating Paula Kania in the first round of qualifying before losing a close match against Evgeniya Rodina.
Kontaveit returned to Estonia to play in the Fed Cup, seemingly still suffering from illness as she put in poor performances and struggled to beat much lower ranked opponents. She made a strong return to the ITF at her training base in Istanbul, where she made the semifinals, her equal best ITF result, where she lost to Shahar Pe'er. She then went to an ITF event in Wiesbaden, Germany, where she was routed by Adrijana Lekaj, winning only three games. Kontaveit then headed to La Marsa in Tunisia where she lost to Romina Oprandi at the semifinal stage. Participating in the French Open qualifying again, she defeated in-form American Katerina Stewart, before losing to French wild card Clothilde de Bernardi.
Kontaveit transferred to the grass in Eastbourne, and won the $50,000 event, her biggest ITF title to date, without losing a set. She then continued this form in Surbiton, making the semifinals before losing a three-set match to Naomi Osaka. She then qualified and made the semifinals in Ilkley, beating players including Zhu Lin, Jeļena Ostapenko and Wang Yafan. However, she lost to Magda Linette after leading 5–1 in the third set and holding a match point. Despite this loss, Kontaveit had the most wins of any player on grass, and this form granted her a main-draw wild card to the Wimbledon Championships. She drew Victoria Azarenka in the first round, but lost to the former world No. 1.
Kontaveit played three WTA tournaments after Wimbledon, the Swedish Open, İstanbul Cup and Baku Cup. Despite disappointing showings in the singles including losses to Olga Govortsova, Melis Sezer and Karin Knapp, Kontaveit made her first WTA semifinal in doubles in Istanbul, partnering Elizaveta Kulichkova after being offered a wildcard. At the Vancouver Open, Kontaveit qualified and beat Zhang Shuai and Patricia Maria Țig before losing to Alla Kudryavtseva in the quarterfinals.
Kontaveit had her first slam break through at the US Open. Starting as an unseeded player in qualifying, she beat Stephanie Vogt, María Teresa Torró Flor and Naomi Broady to qualify for the main draw. There, Kontaveit then beat Casey Dellacqua, 31st seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and American Madison Brengle to reach the fourth round proper, where she lost to 23rd seed Venus Williams in straight sets. With this result Kontaveit broke into the top 100 for the first time, moving up over 60 places.
Kontaveit finished the year by participating in WTA tournaments in Guangzhou, Tashkent and Luxembourg. However, a thigh injury hindered her performance at the latter events and she ended her season with a retirement in qualifying in Luxembourg.
2016: Out of the top 100
Kontaveit started her year with a quarterfinal run at the Shenzhen Open before losing in the first round of the Australian Open to Garbiñe Muguruza. After losing in the first round of the Mexican Open to No. 4 seed Johanna Konta, Kontaveit reached the semis in Monterrey, losing there to Kirsten Flipkens; however, she failed to qualify for both Indian Wells and Miami. She also lost in the first round of the French Open to Venus Williams.
During her grass season, Kontaveit reached the quarterfinals at the Nottingham Open (losing to Alison Riske) and qualified for the Eastbourne International (losing in the first round to Anna-Lena Friedsam) before losing in the first round of the Wimbledon Championships to Barbora Strýcová. Her next six tournaments (including the US Open) also ended in early exits; therefore, her ranking plummeted and she fell from the top 100. Her best year-end performance was a semifinal run in Guangzhou.
2017: First WTA title and top 30
Kontaveit started her season ranked 121. Her first tournament was the Australian Open and was named one of the seven alternates through on the entry list, but a number of withdrawals that did not qualify to the main draw. She lost to Maria Sakkari in the first round. She then won the Andrézieux-Bouthéon ITF tournament, beating Ivana Jorović in the final. After that, she entered the Hungarian Ladies Open's main draw as a qualifier, losing to eventual semifinalist Julia Görges in the first round.
In the BNP Paribas Open, Kontaveit entered the main draw as a qualifier and beat world No. 47 Misaki Doi in the first round before falling to No. 19 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Her next tournament was the Miami Open, where, once again as a qualifier, she beat Kurumi Nara and recorded an upset over No. 32 seed and world No. 35 Ekaterina Makarova before losing to No. 3 seed Simona Halep in straight sets. Ranked No. 99 in the world, Kontaveit reached her first WTA-level final at her next tournament, the Ladies Open Biel Bienne, beating former world No. 38 Heather Watson, Evgeniya Rodina, Elise Mertens and Aliaksandra Sasnovich en route. She then lost to fellow first time finalist Markéta Vondroušová. Good results followed as she qualified for Stuttgart and reached the quarterfinals there. As a qualifier she also entered into Madrid and Rome, reaching the quarterfinals in the latter, which was her first Premier 5 quarterfinal. She lost to Simona Halep but beat world No. 1 Angelique Kerber en route. She followed that with a second round appearance at the French Open, beating Monica Niculescu before losing to Garbiñe Muguruza.
At her first grass tournament of 2017, the Ricoh Open, Kontaveit reached her second final of the year. En route she scored wins over sixth seed Kristýna Plíšková, former Wimbledon semifinalist Kirsten Flipkens, Carina Witthöft and seventh seed Lesia Tsurenko. In the final she got past Natalia Vikhlyantseva to clinch her maiden WTA title and ensure a top 40 debut.
2018: First Premier 5 Final
Kontaveit began the new season at the Brisbane International losing in second round to Aliaksandra Sasnovich. At the Sydney International, Kontaveit retired in the qualifying round one due to heatstroke.
At the Australian Open she defeated Aleksandra Krunić and Mona Barthel to advance to the third round where she faced World No. 7 Jeļena Ostapenko. Kontaveit defeated her to advance to the fourth round in Australia for the first time. Kontaveit lost to Carla Suárez Navarro in the fourth round.
In the spring on clay courts, Kontaveit reached the semifinals of Stuttgart and Rome. At the French Open, she was seeded 25th and reach the fourth round for the second Grand Slam in a row losing to eventual finalist Sloane Stephens.
She hired Nigel Sears as her new coach at the start of the grass-court season. She failed to defend her Rosmalen Grass Court title losing in the first round to Veronika Kudermetova. She reached the third round of Wimbledon losing to Alison Van Uytvanck.
At the Rogers Cup, she lost to Petra Kvitová in straight sets. She lost in the third round of the Cincinnati Open to eventual winner Kiki Bertens. At the US Open she lost in the first round to Katarina Siniaková.
On 1 October 2018, she reached her best singles ranking of No. 21 after finishing runner-up at the Wuhan Open. During the tournament she beat Sloane Stephens, Donna Vekic, Shuai Zhang, Katarina Siniaková and Wang Qiang to reach the final where she lost in straight sets to Aryna Sabalenka.
She received a bye into the second round of the 2018 China Open after reaching the final of Wuhan. She was later defeated by Caroline Wozniacki in the third round. She finished the season being eliminated in the round robin of the WTA Elite Trophy after losing to Elise Mertens and beating Julia Görges.
2019: First Premier Mandatory semifinal and consistent results
Anett Kontaveit started the year by reaching the quarterfinals of the Brisbane International beating Carla Suarez Navarro and Petra Kvitová before losing to eventual finalist Lesia Tsurenko. She then lost to Elise Mertens in the second round of the Sydney International. Seeded 20th at the Australian Open, she lost in the second round to Aliaksandra Sasnovich.
During the Middle Eastern swing she lost in the second round of the Qatar Open to Angelique Kerber. Seeded 15th at the Dubai Tennis Championships she lost in the first round to Zhang Shuai.
Kontaveit then moved onto the Sunshine Double tournaments at Indian Wells and Miami. Seeded 21st she reached the fourth round at Indian losing to Karolina Pliskova in three sets. She then made her breakthrough at the Miami Open. Seeded 21st she defeated Amanda Anisimova, Ajla Tomljanovic and Indian Wells champion Bianca Andreescu to reach her first Premier Mandatory quarterfinal. She defeated 27th seed Hsieh Su-wei despite trailing 1–4 in the third set. She then faced Ashleigh Barty but lost in straight sets. These results propelled her ranking from 20 to 14 and made her the highest ranked Estonian player in history, male or female, and surpassed compatriot Kaia Kanepi's career-high rank of 15.
At her first clay-court event of the season, she was seeded eighth; at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, she defeated Caroline García in two sets to face Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in a rematch of last years quarterfinal. She defeated her in straight sets to reach the quarterfinals for the third year in a row and face Viktoria Azarenka whom she beat; Azarenka retired in the third set. This meant she reached the semifinals for the second year running and was due to face world No. 1, Naomi Osaka. However, Osaka withdrew with a abdominal injury handing Kontaveit a walkover to the final to face Petra Kvitová. She ultimately lost the final in two sets.
She was seeded 14th at the Madrid Open, however lost in the first round to Aliaksandra Sasnovich in three sets. Her next event was the Italian Open where she was seeded 15th. She defeated Mona Barthel to face Maria Sakkari in the second round. However she lost in straight sets. Her results meant she was seeded 17th at the French Open, her best seeding at a Grand Slam event. She lost in the first round at the French Open to Karolina Muchová extending to a three-match losing streak. Her results at the French lead to her ranking dropping to 20 in the world.
Her first grass-court match ended in defeat to Britain’s seventh seed Johanna Konta at the Birmingham Classic. Seeded 16th at Eastbourne, she came from a set down to defeat Britain’s wild card Harriet Dart in the first round to set up a second-round clash with Anna-Lena Friedsam. She was defeated in straight sets.
At Wimbledon she was the 20th seed. She defeated Shelby Rogers in the first round to face Heather Watson in the second. She defeated her in two sets to face Karolina Muchová in the third round. In the third round she lost to the Czech in two sets. This result pushed her one spot in the rankings to 19th in the world.
After taking the next month off she returned at the Rogers Cup where she is the 16th seed. Her first match was against the wild carded Maria Sharapova. She defeated her 4–6, 6–3, 6–4 in an epic two hour and forty minute match. She won a 17 minute service game to break Sharapova to serve for the match.
In 2017, Geoff MacDonald of The New York Times called Kontaveit "a superb competitor on all surfaces". The same year, she beat French Open champion Garbiñe Muguruza on clay and won her first title on grass.
Kontaveit utilizes a variety of strokes that generally force opponents to hit awkward returns—enabling her to strike fast winners or draw quick errors. While seeking a short ball from her opponent, she will typically attack with a high kick serve, alter pace with a backhand slice, or change direction in a prolonged rally. During their 2017 meeting in Rome, she hit 32 winners against Angelique Kerber. She also forced 33 errors from Natalia Vikhlyantseva in the final of the 2017 Ricoh Open. Along with her kicker, Kontaveit employs a wide slice serve as well. In addition, she is noted for her speed around the baseline, allowing her to reach most shots and hit running forehands.
Grand Slam performance timelines
|Australian Open||Q2||1R||1R||4R||2R||0 / 4||4–4||50%|
|French Open||Q3||Q2||1R||2R||4R||1R||0 / 4||4–4||50%|
|Wimbledon||1R||1R||1R||3R||3R||3R||0 / 6||6–6||50%|
|US Open||4R||1R||1R||1R||0 / 4||3–4||43%|
|Win–Loss||0–0||0–1||3–2||0–4||3–4||8–4||3–3||0 / 18||17–18||49%|
|Australian Open||A||A||2R||0 / 1||1–1||50%|
|French Open||A||A||3R||0 / 1||2–1||67%|
|Wimbledon||2R||1R||1R||0 / 3||1–3||25%|
|US Open||A||A||0 / 0||0–0||0|
|Win–Loss||1–1||0–1||3–3||0 / 5||4–5||44%|