Anett Kontaveit WTA Indian Wells

Anett Kontaveit ‘can’t always be perfect’, still matches seven-time WTA Slam champ with superb win streak

Anett Kontaveit has now won 18 consecutive matches WTA tour matches on indoor hard courts after ousting Belinda Bencic to reach the semi-finals in St Petersburg.

The Estonian continues to maintain her formidable play on the tour as she defeated the Olympic gold medallist Swiss 7-6 (9-7), 6-2 in their quarter-final tie.

While the opening set was extremely tight, Kontaveit knuckled down to clinch it in a tiebreak before controlling the match from there on out.

“it was such a competitive and difficult first set,” she admitted in her on-court interview after the win.

“I was definitely very happy to fight through it.”

“Maybe my first serve didn’t go in as much as I would have liked at some points.

“But I was still fighting through and just trying to do my best.

“You can’t play perfect tennis everyday.”

While Kontaveit says she cannot always be perfect her recent results at indoor events suggest otherwise.

Following her maiden WTA tour title on the grass of ‘s-Hertogenbosch in 2017 at the age of 21, Kontaveit had to wait four years for her next tour trophy.

However, she then won four titles in two months between August and October last year to rocket from 30th in the world to a career-high WTA ranking of seventh come the middle of November.

Of those four titles, the last three were all indoor events, being the Ostrava Open, Kremlin Cup and Transylvania Open in that order, seeing Kontaveit rack up 15 successive wins on indoor hard courts.

Those tournaments are each WTA 500, 500 and 250 level respectively.

Her current run at the WTA 500 St Petersburg Ladies’ Trophy has brought her run up to 18, and will be 20 should she win the event for her sixth career tour title and fifth in six months.

With 18 consecutive wins, she levels seven-time Major winner and former world number one Justine Henin, who was the last woman to achieve the feat in 2010.

To get there she now must get through world number 25 Jelena Ostapenko in the last four before either tournament top seed Maria Sakkari or 56th ranked Irina-Camelia Begu in the final.

If Kontaveit were to triumph in Russia and Sakkari fail to reach the final, the former would rise from her current ranking of world number nine to overtake the Greek and return to her career-high of seventh.

Regardless, the 26-year-old’s run to the semi-finals already ensure she will replace Iga Swiatek at eighth in the rankings come Monday.

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