2021 WTA Tour weekly title wrap: Kontaveit caps off sparkling run with second title in three tournaments
ANETT Kontaveit has moved back inside the Top 20 after her WTA Tour 500 title at Ostrava. The Estonian talent is edging closer to her career-high ranking of 14th, winning her second title this year after her triumph at Cleveland. The 25-year-old has won 12 of her past 13 matches, only losing to Iga Swiatek in the third round of the US Open – and after winning the first set.
Kontaveit claimed her third career title the hard way, overcome several red-hot players in what was a tough draw in Ostrava. Remarkably, the Estonian did not drop a set on her way to the title despite facing four seeds – including three top four seeds – along the way. She started off with a 6-4 6-4 victory over Romanian Sorana Cirstea in the first round, before defeating ninth seed Paula Badosa 6-3 6-4 in the Round of 16.
The last three matches were set to be the toughest of the draw, but she breezed past her in-form opponents. In the quarter finals, Kontaveit took care of Tokyo Gold Medallist Belinda Bencic 6-4 6-3, then dominated second seed Czech Petra Kvitova, and lastly triumphed over Greek fourth seed Maria Sakkari, beating the US Open semi-finalist, 6-2 7-5 in the Ostrava Open final.
“Maria is such a good player, and we’ve had a lot of tough matches between us, and I knew I had to play well to beat her,” Kontaveit said post-match. “I think I managed to serve pretty well and play aggressive, but be as consistent as possible.”
The Estonian is in red-hot form of late and will take that form into the Chicago Fall Tennis Classic against American Madison Brengle, before looking likely to be seeded for the massive WTA 1000 Indian Wells the following week.
“When you’re winning matches, it definitely gives you confidence,” Kontaveit said. “I feel like I am definitely playing better than I was in the middle of the season, and I think good things can come of it.
“I’ve really had a very good time on court, and I think I’ve enjoyed it after a while, and that’s the thing I’m really most happy about. One of my friends who’s here this week to play doubles, she told me, ‘While we’re here, we might as well enjoy it,’ and that really sort of stuck with me this week.”
Other big ranking movers from the week include Swiatek – who rose into the Top 5 with a career-high fourth from her semi-final appearance – and Sakkari, who officially forced her way into the Top 10 for the first time sliding in at ninth. Alison Riske was the casualty of the week after a second round loss, falling outside the Top 50 (51st).
At Columbus, second seed Nuria Parrizas-Diaz won a WTA 125 title, moving up 16 spots in the rankings for the 30-year-old to reach a new career-high 70th in the world. She defeated Chinese eighth seed Xinyu Wang in a tough two-setter 7-6 6-3 to claim the title, with Xinyu moving up 14 spots into 115th in the world.
In the Challenger events, Hungarian Anna Bondar won the W80 event in Wiesbaden to move up 33 spots to a career-high 146th in the world after defeating Frenchwoman Clara Burel in the final. The 20-year-old Burel still moved up 12 spots in the rankings herself, to a career-high 79th in the world.
Meanwhile in the other W80 event, Dutchwoman Arantxa Rus is up to 67th again, six spots off her career-high of 61st, after the 30-year-old won in Valencia. She defeated 33-year-old Romanian Mihaela Buzarnescu with the former Top 20 player advancing 27 spots to 148th in the world.
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