Anett Kontaveit has just won the VTB Kremlin Cup title, but the triumph has only intensified the Estonia’s tension. The world No.14 has no time to relax after winning the WTA 500 tournament in Moscow, as she’s fighting for the last Akron WTA Finals Guadalajara berth this week at the Transylvania Open. The feat is far from easy to achieve — she has to win the title at the WTA 250 event in Romania!
Aryna Sabalenka, Barbora Krejcikova, Karolina Pliskova, Maria Sakkari, Iga Swiatek, Garbine Muguruza and Paula Badosa have all qualified for the singles field of 2021 Akron WTA Finals Guadalajara. As world No.1 Ashleigh Barty has withdrawn, one qualification place remains in the eight-women draw. The battle is now between two players: Anett Kontaveit and Ons Jabeur.
After winning three tournaments since late August (Ostrava, Cleveland, and Moscow), Kontaveit needs to go all the way to the title at this week’s Transylvania Open in order to secure her WTA Finals debut. She has four more matches to win, having overcome her first-round obstacle with a 6-3 7-5 victory over Aleksandra Krunic in the first round.
Tunisia’s Jabeur seemed to have guaranteed her WTA Finals debut, as she reached the final of the Chicago Fall Tennis Classic and followed it up with a semifinal showing at the BNP Paribas Open. However, in the first round of the VTB Kremlin Cup she retired because of an elbow injury and then also pulled out of this week’s Courmayeur Ladies Open.
The 25-year-old Kontaveit, who has risen six spots in the WTA rankings this week, is not feeling too much pressure, as she knows that before Ostrava she was not even a remote favorite for the 2021 Akron WTA Finals Guadalajara. Good news is that she’s still affected by the adrenaline from all the tournaments she’s won recently:
I’m definitely going to give everything that I have. I’ve gotten so many positive emotions from these last few tournaments that right now, I don’t even really feel too tired because I’m still on that high! At the same time, I’m going to have to take it match by match, trying my hardest.
Update: In the second round of the Transylvania Open, Kontaveit defeated Belgium’s Alison Van Uytvanck, then Ukraine’s Anhelina Kalilina in the quarterfinals and is now awaiting a semifinal meeting with Sweden’s Rebecca Peterson.