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Anett Kontaveit Announces Shock Retirement From Tennis at Age 27

Anett Kontaveit US OPEN

Anett Kontaveit announced her retirement from professional tennis at the age of 27 due to a chronic back injury. The Estonian, who was ranked a career-high #2 at this time last year, admitted she will play her final tournament at next month’s Wimbledon Championships.

Kontaveit delivered the bombshell news on Tuesday morning on her Instagram page.

She wrote in a post, “After several doctor’s visits and consultations with my medical team, I have been advised that I have lumbar disc degeneration in my back.

“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.”

The complicated nature of the injury would not allow her to compete at the highest level thus leaving her with no alternative but to hang up her racket.

Anett Kontaveit is the highest-ranked Estonian in history

Kontaveit became the highest-ranked Estonian player ever at this time last year, rising to world #2. She won six singles titles during her playing career. Her late-season surge in 2021 was one of the most riveting storylines in women’s tennis that year. She won four titles in two months in the second half of the season and qualified for the WTA Finals for the first time. She reached the championship match in Guadalajara at the season-ending finale, losing to Spain’s Garbine Muguruza.

The 27-year-old remains proud and elated to have helped play a pivotal role in putting Estonia back on the tennis map. Last year, she faced compatriot Kaia Kanepi in the semifinal of the inaugural Tallinn Open in her home country, pitting the top-two Estonian players on the same court in front of a packed crowd.

Kontaveit reached the second week in three of the four Majors, with her best showing coming at the 2020 Australian Open, where she defeated Iga Swiatek to reach the quarterfinal.

Known for her easy power off the ground, Kontaveit was unable to attain pain-free body coordination to enable her to unleash her monstrous ground strokes due to a persistent back issue that surfaced last October. She tried all sorts of special exercises and help from physiotherapists to alleviate the pain after her matches. But it appears none of those measures worked.

After a run of three wins from seven WTA tournaments in 2023 and struggling to cope with pain, the Estonian decided to pull the plug on her playing career.

Kontaveit’s post has since received thousands of comments from fans and fellow pros sending their best wishes and praying for full recovery.

Main Photo Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports


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