Sunday, 5 December 2021

Kontaveit makes biggest final in Wuhan as ailing Wang retires

Mike Stobe/Getty Images/File

WUHAN-WTA: Anett Kontaveit has notched up both a personal and national milestone at the Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open, becoming the first Estonian player to reach a Premier 5 final after Wang Qiang retired due to a left thigh injury while trailing 6-2, 2-1, (30-0) in their all-unseeded semifinal.

It is the first final of the season for the 22-year-old, who reached her first Premier 5 semifinal in Rome this May, but fourth overall following three at International level last year – and a result that ends Wang’s hopes of also hitting a national milestone in becoming the tournament’s first ever home finalist.

In the opening stages of the match, it was the Chinese No.1 who seemed sharper, holding with a brace of unreturned serves and breaking as Kontaveit offered up a series of groundstroke errors.

But the Estonian didn’t take too long to find her range. Her trademark backhand down the line came to join the party in the third game, but the forehand wing was even more lethal in retrieving the break, firing three rockets – one down the line, one magnificent angle and one on return – to stamp her presence on the match.

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