The match at the Abu Dhabi International Tennis Center, also the 2021 season opener, started with both players breaking each other’s serves early on, with the score ending up at 3:3 as Kontaveit held on to her serve in a lengthy game six.
However, Kontaveit, ranked 23rd in the world, failed to capitalize on two break points in the very next game, and with both players holding on to their serves in the following games, the scores found themselves at 6:5 and the possibility of a tie-break. However, the Estonian lagged behind 30:0 on her serve in game 12, with Kudermetova, ranked 46th in the world, managing to break her opponent’s service again, to take the set 7:5.
If the first set was somewhat even-stevens, the same could not be said of the follow-up. In just 18 minutes, the Russian found herself five games ahead as she roared to victory, Kontaveit, 25, from Tallinn, only managing to pick up one game before her opponent took the set, and therefore match, 6:1.
Kontaveit managed to convert one break point out of four, while Kudermetova’s stats for same were four out of nine.
The result is actually the third time the Estonian has last to Kudermetova since 2015, making the Russian, 23, from Moscow, somewhat of a bogey player in her career so far.
The Estonian does however have more to go in Abu Dhabi in the doubles, where she and her partner, Darja Kasatkina (Russia, ranked 72nd in the world) take on the Belarusian pair of Aliaksandra Sanovich and Lidzija Marozava (ranked 90th and 1,182nd respectively).