Kontaveit announces impending retirement from tennis20/06/2023 14:55
Former world No. 2 Anett Kontaveit has announced her retirement from tennis due to a back condition
By Jamie Renton
Former world No. 2 Anett Kontaveit has announced her retirement from tennis due to a back condition.
The 27-year-old Estonian, who sits in second place for the most Billie Jean King Cup singles victories for her country, is set to hang up her racket after this year’s Wimbledon.
“After several doctor’s visits and consultations with my medical team, I have been advised that I have lumbar disc degeneration in my back,” she posted on Instagram.
“This does not allow for full-scale training or continued competition. Therefore, it is impossible to continue at the top level in such a highly competitive field.
“Tennis has given and taught me a lot, and I am very grateful for that. It has been important for me to bring the Estonian flag to the tennis courts and to be able to play in front of my supporters and fans all over the world.
“I am ready for new challenges after my last effort as a professional tennis player – to enjoy the game and compete as hard as I can at Wimbledon.”
Kontaveit achieved incredible heights in tennis in spite of health challenges, having struggled with mononucleosis early in her career before being troubled by covid and back injuries towards the latter part.
She reached the quarter-finals at the 2020 Australian Open and finished runner-up at the WTA Finals in 2021, going on to peak at No. 2 in the world last June.
Kontaveit represented Estonia with distinction in international team competition, winning a total of 30 matches for her country in the Billie Jean King Cup across singles (25 wins) and doubles (5), third only to countrywomen Maret Ani (43) and Kaia Kanepi (41) for total wins.
Only Kanepi (28) has won more singles matches for Estonia in Billie Jean King Cup singles.
In total, Kontaveit contested 31 ties for Estonia over a 10-year period, and helped the nation climb from Group III in 2014 back in to Group I in 2016.
Her last appearance for her nation came in a 2-0 defeat to Greece in the Europe/Africa Group II play-off in April.