Kontaveit takes down Sakkari in Ostrava for third career title

Anett Kontaveit is again within the winner’s circle in 2021, because the unseeded Estonian notched her second title of the season on the J&T Banka Ostrava Open.

The World No.30 Kontaveit powered previous No.4 seed Maria Sakkari of Greece 6-2, 7-5 to win the title within the Czech Republic. The WTA 500-level occasion is the most important title of Kontaveit’s profession and her third WTA singles title general.

Kontaveit didn’t drop a set all week and maintained her flawless play together with her sixth High 20 victory of the 12 months over World No.12 Sakkari. Sakkari held a 5-3 lead of their head-to-head at tour-level coming into the ultimate, however Kontaveit prevailed this time in 1 hour and 32 minutes.

Quotes from the winner: “Maria is such an excellent participant, and we’ve had lots of powerful matches between us, and I knew I needed to play nicely to beat her,” Kontaveit mentioned throughout her post-match press convention. “I feel I managed to serve fairly nicely and play aggressive, however be as constant as attainable.”

“Whenever you’re successful matches, it positively offers you confidence. I really feel like I’m positively taking part in higher than I used to be in the midst of the season, and I feel good issues can come of it.

“I’ve actually had an excellent time on court docket, and I feel I’ve loved it after some time, and that’s the factor I’m actually most joyful about. One in all my buddies who’s right here this week to play doubles, she advised me, ‘Whereas we’re right here, we’d as nicely get pleasure from it,’ and that basically type of caught with me this week.”

Lengthy waits ending: Kontaveit continues her successful methods this season after a prolonged title drought. She captured her first title at ‘s-Hertogenbosch in 2017, however waited over 4 years earlier than including to that tally in Cleveland this summer time. Immediately, Kontaveit has now gained two titles in a four-week span.

Sakkari had additionally waited a protracted whereas to make it this far in a WTA singles occasion. This was the Greek’s first remaining in over two years, since she gained her lone WTA singles title thus far in Rabat in 2019. Regardless of the loss, Sakkari is projected to make her High 10 debut in Monday’s new singles rankings.

Stat nook: On the day, although, it was Kontaveit who took cost within the remaining. The Estonian confronted just one break level within the match as she powered her solution to victory towards Sakkari for her thirty first match-win of the 12 months.

Because it had been for almost all of the week, Kontaveit’s aggressive play was pristine, together with her 26 winners outpacing her 17 unforced errors. Against this, Sakkari’s 20 winners have been outnumbered by 23 unforced errors.

Key performs: Kontaveit clinched the early lead with a fierce forehand to interrupt for 3-1, then used that very same wing to interrupt Sakkari once more within the final sport of the opening set. Kontaveit dominated the opening set together with her highly effective play, as her 9 winners tripled her unforced error depend of three.

Sakkari pulled herself into rivalry within the nearer second set, eventually attaining her first break level of the day within the opening sport. However Kontaveit eased herself out of hassle, erasing that likelihood with a rally backhand winner, and stored her service maintain streak alive.

Sturdy serving throughout meant there have been no extra break factors for both participant via 6-5, however in that sport, Kontaveit grabbed her likelihood. A ferocious forehand winner down the road gave the Estonian a 0-40 lead and triple championship level, and Kontaveit solely wanted a kind of alternatives, wrapping up one other title with one remaining forehand winner.

Doubles roundup: Earlier, in Sunday’s doubles remaining, No.2 seeds Sania Mirza of India and Zhang Shuai of China collected the champions’ trophy, defeating No.3 seeds Kaitlyn Christian of the US and Erin Routliffe of New Zealand, 6-3, 6-2, in an hour and 4 minutes.

Doubles stalwarts Mirza and Zhang had by no means teamed up earlier than final week in Luxembourg, the place they fell within the quarterfinals to eventual champions Greet Minnen and Alison van Uytvanck.

However this week, of their second occasion collectively, Mirza and Zhang have been commanding within the remaining, successful 76 p.c of factors behind each their first and second serves, and staving off each break factors they confronted within the tilt.

That is former WTA Doubles World No.1 Mirza’s forty third WTA doubles title of her legendary profession, and her second title since she returned from maternity go away in 2020.

In the meantime, Zhang is on a sizzling run in doubles, having gained three of her final 5 doubles tournaments, together with her second Grand Slam title on the 2021 US Open alongside Samantha Stosur. Zhang is now as much as 11 WTA doubles titles in her profession.

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