Anett Kontaveit lost to Ons Jabeur in her farewell match in Tallinn but still felt "honored" and expressed gratitude to the Estonian crowd and the Tunisian tennis star for making it special. Kontaveit, a former world No 2, was stunningly forced to end her career this summer at the age of 27 due to a chronic back injury.
After officially ending her pro tennis career at Wimbledon, Kontaveit also planned to have a farewell match in front of her home fans in Tallinn. On Saturday, the match was played at the Tondiraba Icehall as Jabeur edged out home favorite Kontaveit 6-4 4-6 10-7.
"It is an honor to be here in front of such a large crowd and to compete against Ons, who is a terrific tennis player and a fantastic person, and to have Kader, one of my favorite referees, with us today. I'm grateful for such excellent ball boys and line judges.
I am overjoyed that I was able to say goodbye to everyone on the tennis court once again. I feel like I've done something really right in my life since I've been able to bring such an audience here," Kontaveit said after the match.
How Jabeur beat Kontaveit?
In the first set, the two players were tied to four games apiece when Jabeur broke Kontaveit for a 5-4 lead. In the following game, Kontaveit had a great chance to get the break back but Jabeur saved five break points before closing out the set.
After winning the first set, Jabeur also had a 4-2 lead in the second set. Down by a set and a break, Kontaveit responded by claiming back-to-back breaks and winning the next four games to overturn the deficit and send the match into a decider.
In the match tie-break, the two players were tied to seven points apiece before Jabeur won the next three points to complete a three-set win over Kontaveit. Kontaveit may have lost to Jabeur but it was still a very special night for the Estonian tennis legend.