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Anett Kontaveit

Initial World Ranking: 439
Current World Ranking: 228
2013 Record: 38-12
2013 Titles: 4 ($10k Marathon, $25k Moscow, $10k Izmir, $25k Margaret River)
Best Win: Olivia Rogowska (#159)
Worst Defeat: Anna Smith (#949)

Tournament Breakdown

ITF $10k: 11-1
ITF $25k: 26-8
ITF $50k: 1-2
ITF $75k: 0-0
ITF $100k: 0-0
ITF $125k: 0-0
WTA Qualifying: 0-0
WTA: 1 0-1
Grand Slam Qualifying: 0-0
Grand Slam: 0-0

Surface Breakdown

Hard: 26-9
Indoor Hard: 0-0
Clay: 12-3
Grass: 0-0

Best Win

Olivia Rogowska (#159): 6-4, 6-1 ($25k Margaret River, Australia)

Worst Defeat

Anna Smith (#949): 7-6, 6-2 ($10k Edinburgh, United Kingdom)

What did DW on Sport predict?

"She could still challenge on the junior circuit next year, but it would be no surprise to see her playing more senior matches and her ranking should start to rise rapidly over the next twelve months”

2013 in Review

She started the year with a run to the semi-final at the Junior Australian Open. Four straight sets victories for the tenth seed raised hopes of back-to-back Grand Slam finals, but she would come up short against Katerina Siniakova.

Remaining in Australia, she came through qualifying to reach the semi-final of the $25k event in Burnie, squandering match points against Monique Adamczak before going down 6-4 in the third. Six matches in a week in Burnie put pay to her hopes in Launceston the following week where she lost meekly to Azra Hadzic.

Her next outing would be in the WTA event in Miami, where she received a wildcard into the main draw. In her first ever main-draw WTA match, she struggled against Christina McHale, winning just 41% of points behind her serve and unable to make much of an impact on the American’s serve. However, it provided good experience for Kontaveit against one of the highest ranked opponents she has played to date.

After disappointment in the next two tournaments in her home city of Tallinn and in Edinburgh, she broke her title drought in spectacular fashion, winning as a qualifier in the $10k event in Marathon, dropping just one set, before going one better and taking the $25k title in Moscow as a qualifier without dropping a single set in her seven matches.

Despite this success on the clay in Moscow, she was a surprise loser in the first round of the Junior French Open, losing to Ilka Csoregi in straight sets. Having played no warm-up singles events on grass, she headed to the Junior Wimbledon event hopefully of a decent run. After winning her first two matches for the loss of just three games, she ran into the seemingly unbeatable Belinda Bencic, who was on a 31-match unbeaten run. In one of the highest quality matches in the tournament, Kontaveit would eventually succumb 6-2 in the third set, but she could take plenty of heart from her performance.

Returning to the senior circuit in Wrexham, she had a disappointing quarter-final defeat to Jovana Jaksic, before bouncing back to winning ways with her third title of the season in the $10k event in Izmir. A tight defeat against Dinah Pfizenmaier in the $25k event the following week was no great disappointment and she reached the final of the $25k event in Podgroica in early September, eventually losing to Stephanie Vogt.

After a month off, her return to Australia got off to a difficult start with a disappointing loss to Alison Bai, but a week later, she won a high-quality $25k event in Margaret River, overcoming Arina Rodionova, Olivia Rogowska and Irina Falconi for the loss of just one set.

Making the step up to a couple of $50k events, she lost in the first round in Bendigo to Erika Sema in three sets, despite saving match points in the second, before losing in the second round in the second Bendigo event to Noppawan Lertcheewakarn to end a reasonable 2013.

Analysis of 2013

While she may have won four titles, it was ultimately a disappointing year for Kontaveit. She struggled to make much of an impact above the $25k level and it will have been tough for her to see how the players that she was beating last year have pushed on. She beat the likes of Bouchard, Knapp and Mladenovic in 2012, all of whom are now established top 50 players in the WTA.

She was not regularly losing to players ranked far below her and there were admittedly reasons for some of the defeats. However, she should really have been hoping to push on this year into the top 200. After the way that the last couple of years have been so successful for her, it will be interesting to see how she comes back in 2014 after what has been a rather average twelve months.

Her scheduling was also rather peculiar. She withdrew from $50k and $75k events to play $10k events, which certainly did not help her ranking, while it seemed strange that she did not take advantage of some of the weak American $50k events post-US Open. She has enjoyed success playing in the USA in the past, having reached the Junior US Open final in 2012, and she would potentially have been seeded for a few of the tournaments. Instead, she headed to Australia to play various $25k events, before failing in the weak $50k event to finish the season. Finally, she missed the chance of qualifying for some of the weaker WTA events. She would have been seeded in qualifying for the likes of Bastad and Bad Gastein, giving herself the opportunity to reach the main draw, with the points that come with that. Instead, she played various $10k and $25k events.

Aims for 2014?

Her ranking is now high enough to get into Grand Slam qualifying events and she must be aiming to win a few matches in those during the year, even if qualification might be a step too far. However, she needs to start winning matches and titles at the $50k level on a more regular basis and look at playing qualifying for some of the lower-level WTA tournaments. The prize money and points for these will give her a real boost and she will start finding herself seeded in most of the ITF events that she plays.

She will have seen the progress that the likes of Bouchard and Schmiedlova have made this year and will know that she is capable of matching some of those achievements. Whether she can find the consistency to achieve this will be a key to how her future career may pan out.

A few comments

  • She is clearly capable of a high level of tennis, but inconsistency is the major flaw in her game right now. It is understandable for such a young player, but her level of play seems to be far too connected to her mood.
  • She seems to zone out in matches and find herself on long losing runs. Countless times this year she lost 10+ consecutive points in matches, turning what should be routine matches into struggles. She needs to maintain her concentration throughout matches or she will struggle to beat higher ranked opponents.
  • Linked to the consistency and concentration issue, she needs to work on the mental side of her game. She often struggles to serve out sets and matches, plus she was able to win just one tiebreak all year.
  • The serve definitely requires a lot of work. She gets very few cheap points behind her serve and she throws in far too many double faults. Even if she is not getting cheap points, she needs to ensure that her serve does not just sit up and beg to be hit.
  • Needs to spend more time considering her schedule. Playing $10k events should be below her now and will not help her improve her rankings, while she seemed to pick particularly strong $25k events to enter, meaning she struggled to pick up points. It would have made more sense for her to look at entering a few more weaker $25k events and $50k/$75k events, even if that meant playing through qualifying for them.
  • She appears to need time to settle into new areas. She often struggles in her first events in a new country or continent, which is something that she will need to work on as she moves closer to the WTA tour.
  • Her ranking should be good enough to enter qualifying for the Grand Slams in 2014, which combined with not having the limit on the number of tournaments that she can play, should see her continue to push up the rankings toward the verge of the top 100.
  • Being able to play a full schedule could help her find the consistency that she needs. It is tough when you are not playing regularly, so getting into the flow of a regular schedule could be just what she needs.

DW on Sport Rating (out of 5)


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