Anett Kontaveit Rallies Past Maria Sharapova at Rogers Cup in Toronto
(August 5, 2019) No.16 seed Anett Kontaveit came back from a set and a break down to defeat former No.1 and 2009 finalist Maria Sharapova in a two-hour and forty-one minute 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 match to move into the second round of the Rogers Cup in Toronto.
This was Sharapova’s first match since Wimbledon, where she retired during her first-round match.
It all came down to a critical ninth game of the deciding set which lasted 20 minutes with the Russian, Sharapova eventually being broken.
“It was really, really close match, and I felt like there was not much in it. It was point by point,” said the Estonian Kontaveit.
“In the first set, I felt like I had some opportunities and I just didn’t use them. So, yeah, I think I started serving better in the second set and that definitely, definitely helped. You know, you don’t want to be hitting second serves against Maria.
“So, yeah, I think in the end it was the fighting. I mean, it was so close. And I managed to get that break on the ninth game and, yeah, I felt confident serving it out.”
“It was a physical match throughout,” said Sharapova. “I think she was the aggressive player, took a few more chances in the end, and I think it paid off.
“I put a lot of work in to get to this stage, so I think to finish off this match is good. Definitely not the result I would have liked, but overall feeling pretty good about it.”
It’s been eighth years since Sharapova played in Toronto.
“It was definitely longer than I had thought was the last time since I competed here she said. “I thought it was a few years and, yeah, it’s been since 2011.
“Obviously would have liked to have played a little bit more than, yeah, the end result.”
“I’m still building the confidence and my forms and that’s something that’s just going to come with time and with match play,” said the five-time major champion. Unfortunately, I just haven’t had that yet, so will just hopefully try to build on it.
“You know, there’s never the perfect scenario. You know, I’m going to be coming up against tough players, long matches, and there are always going to be tests. And I always have to play my best tennis no matter who I play.
“So it will just take time to build that confidence again, because I have struggled with it for a long time.”
“I think it’s fair to say you’re disappointed with the result on paper, but I think there’s a lot of good things that I could take away from this match.
“I think technically I worked on a lot of things. And, you know, now I feel like my shoulder is getting a little bit stronger. I worked on that for many months, and so was able to put in the repetition in my serve, which throughout this year just I really haven’t. So that was a positive and I got good feedback on that.
“And I can still improve, but, yeah, and there’s definitely things that coming off of a match like this, I still need to improve, and those little opportunities and windows that maybe most of the time, for me, came a little bit naturally when I used to play week in and week out and didn’t really think twice about things.
“But I’ve handled that before and overcome it, so, yeah, I guess that’s the process of coming back.”
The next match won’t get any easier for Kontaveit, she’ll face the winner of Venus Williams versus Carla Suárez Navarro.
“Yeah, it will be tough either way,” Kontaveit said. “I’ve played them both. They have very different game styles.”
Also advancing in Toronto were Caroline Wozniacki, 2015 champion and 11th seed Belinda Bencic, 2017 French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko, Julia Goerges, Sofia Kenin, Elise Mertens, Jennifer Brady, and Dayana Yastremska and Svetlanta Kuznetsova.
More to follow…