Tennis

Kontaveit beats Pliskova to book spot in WTA Finals semifinals


GUADALAJARA, Mexico — Anett Kontaveit stretched her winning streak to 12 matches by beating Karolina Pliskova 6-4, 6-0 on Friday to secure a spot in the semifinals at the WTA Finals.

The 25-year-old Estonian now has 28 of her last 30 matches, including her title run at Ostrava. Prior to that stretch, she had a 19-13 record for the year.

“I’ve really been enjoying being on court, just having a good time. I think that’s been the main thing why I’ve been doing so well. I do feel like I can take on everyone,” Kontaveit said.

Kontaveit, who soared from No. 30 in the rankings into the top 10 since she started working with Dimitry Tursunov at the Cincinnati Masters, clinched a spot in the tournament’s final four although first place in her round-robing group was still up for grabs.

“I think each win towards the end of the year just gave me a little bit of more confidence,” Kontaveit said. “The balls just started rolling. I’ve been taking some good advice from my new coach as well. I think he’s brought some good, new energy to the team.”

Barbora Krejcikova was playing Garbine Muguruza in the late match. The third-seeded Pliskova is 1-1 in the tournament but still has a chance of advancing.

Kontaveit only edged out Ons Jabeur for the last spot in the season-ending championship by beating Simona Halep in the final of the Transylvania Open last month.

The tournament, which was cancelled last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, features a round-robin group stage before the semifinals.

The WTA Finals are being played in Guadalajara for this year only, with the event scheduled to return to Shenzhen, China in 2022.



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