Anett Kontaveit Opens Up About COVID Battle After Wimbledon Exit - UBITENNIS
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Anett Kontaveit Opens Up About COVID Battle After Wimbledon Exit

The Estonian spoke openly about her health after suffering a surprise exit from Wimbledon on Wednesday.

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Image via https://twitter.com/WTA

Anett Kontaveit estimates she will need up to a month to get back into shape after crashing out of Wimbledon which she partly links to her ongoing recovery from COVID-19.

The second seed managed to win only four games during her shock 6-4, 6-0, loss to Germany’s Jule Niemeier. Making it the third consecutive Grand Slam this year where she has failed to win back-to-back matches. During her 59-minute defeat, the world No.2 hit a total of 24 unforced errors and managed to win just over 50% of her service points.

“It was hard for me to control her big shots because I haven’t had the opportunity to prepare as well as I would have liked to,” Kontaveit said during her press conference.
“It was just tough out there. She played a really good match, and that’s about it.”

Kontaveit’s latest woe comes amid her ongoing battle with recovering from COVID-19 which she first contracted roughly two months ago. She says the repercussions of the virus have left her dealing with fatigue which has impacted her training routines.

In hindsight, the Estonian admits that she might have made a mistake by returning to the Tour quicker than she should have. Whilst COVID-19 is highly contagious, the effect it can have can differ between each person. A majority of people recover within a couple of weeks of having the virus.

“I tried to come back very quickly. I started training. It was low intensity, but I was still training every day. I think that was where I went wrong. Just thinking back on it, I probably should have given myself more time to recover.”  Kontaveit explained.
“At the French (Open), I really struggled. I had really big energy dips, and I was tired all the time. It was tough to wake up. I slept a lot all the time.”

Opting to take a break after Roland Garros, the 26-year-old didn’t return to ‘light’ training until 10 days before Wimbledon. Although she felt enough progress was being made to justify her playing at the grass-court major.

Kontaveit’s ongoing struggles sound like she has a form of long Covid. However, she explains that such a diagnosis can’t be made just yet.

“They (the doctors) said it’s too soon to diagnose me with long COVID, but I have been to loads of doctors and been checked,” she replied when asked. “There is nothing physically wrong with my heart or lungs or anything.”
“I think I’m going to try and increase the training load as my energy feels better, too.”

Returning to the practice courts in a bid to regain her form, Kontaveit is upbeat that she will be ready in time for the North American hardcourt swing.

“I think three, four weeks of good training will help me get back in decent shape,” she concludes. 

Kontaveit hasn’t won back-to-back matches in five out of her past six tournaments played. 

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Jelena Ostapenko beats Greer Minnen to reach the second round at Eastbourne

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Number 6 seed Jelena Ostapenko beat Belgian qualifier Greet Minnen 7-6 (7-3) 6-1 after 1 hour and 29 minutes to secure a spot in the second round at the Rothesay international in Eastbourne. 

Ostapenko won the Eastbourne title in 2021 and reached the 2022 final before losing to Petra Kvitova. 

Minnen led by a break three times and served for the set at 5-4 and 6-5 but Ostapenko pulled back on serve each time. 

Ostapenko fired a backhand crosscourt winner to earn three set points at 6-3 in the tie-break. The Latvian player converted his first chance with a forehand return winner. 

Both players traded breaks in the first two games of the second set. Ostapenko earned a second break in the third game, but she took an off court medical time-out after a fall at 3-1 in the second set. 

Ostapenko recovered by winning four consecutive games with two breaks to win the second set 6-1. 

“Grass is a great surface, but sometimes it can be slippery and really tricky. So I took the medical time-out just to make sure I am fine”, said Ostapenko.  

 “I think the surface suits me really well. The first I played on grass, I was like: ‘How can we play tennis on this surface ? I don’t understand what’s happening here, but then every year was better and better”, said Ostapenko. 

British wild card Harriet Dart battled past former Wimbledon quarter finalist Marie Bouzhkova 7-5 6-7 (7-9) 6-4 after 3 hours and 29 minutes in the third-longest match on the WTA Tour this year. 

Bouzhkova broke twice in the third and fifth games to open up a 4-1 lead, but Dart won six of the next seven games with three breaks of serve to win the first set 7-5. 

Dart fought back from 1-4 down to force a tie-break with two breaks of serve in the sixth and eighth games. The British player never held a match point in the second set. Bouzhkova converted her fourth set point to seal the tie-break 9-7 after a 88-minute second set. 

After a trade of breaks at the start of the third set, Dart earned a decisive break in the third game to take a 2-1 lead. The British wild card saved a break point at 4-3 en route to the win. 

Dart was scheduled to face 2022 Wimbeldon champion Elena Rybakina, but the Kazakh player withdrew from the tournament on Monday due to a change of schedule. Dart will face wild card Sofia Kenin, who won the Australian Open title and reached the final at Roland Garros in 2020.  

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(VIDEO) What A Weekend For Italian Tennis!

Ubitennis founder Ubaldo Scanagatta looks back on this week’s action on the ATP Tour.

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Jannik Sinner – ATP Halle 2024 (foto via Twitter @atptour)

It has been a memorable Sunday for Italian tennis with the country winning two titles on the ATP Tour. 

In Halle, world No.1 Jannik Sinner claimed his first trophy on the grass with a hard-fought two-set win over Hubert Hurkacz. There was also success in the doubles tournament with top seeds Simone Bolelli and Andrea Vavassori winning the title. Meanwhile, in London, Lorenzo Musetti was unable to make it a hatrick of wins for his country after losing in the final of the Cinch Championships to Tommy Paul.  

So how much can be read into these wins and should we be expecting similar results at Wimbledon which begins a week tomorrow? 

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Jannik Sinner reaches the first grass final of his career in Halle

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Jannik Sinner overcame Zhang Zhizhen 6-4 7-6 (7-3) to reach the first final of his career on grass at the Terra Wortmann in Halle. Sinner achieved his best result on this surface when he reached the semifinal at Wimbledon in 2023. 

Sinner will face a final against his friend Hubert Hurkacz, who beat Alexander Zverev 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 in the first semifinal. The Italian player converted his only break point in the ninth game and fended off the only break point he faced at 5-6 in the second set with a forehand winner, one of his winners of the match. 

The Italian player earned an early mini-break to take a 2-0 lead. Zhang Zhizhen pulled the mini-break back. Sinner earned two mini-breaks in the fourth and eighth points to win the tie-break 7-3. Sinner won the first of the four tie-breaks he played this week.

Sinner finished the match in straight sets after clinching three consecutive three-set wins at the start of his campaign at this year’s edition of the Terra Wortmann in Halle. 

The world number 1 player won three titles on hard court at the Australian Open, Rotterdam and Miami this year. 

“It means a lot. I had four tough matches to go to the final. It was a good match today. Definitely more rallies than yesterday. And that’s definitely what I needed today. I am happy and let’s see what’s coming tomorrow”, said Sinner.  

Earlier this week Zhang Zhizhen had previously beaten Danil Medvedev in the second round and came back from 2-5 down to beat Christopher Eubanks in the quarter finals. 

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