Red-hot Kontaveit wins 18th straight indoor match, putting her sixth in all-time list.
The Estonian takes on Jelena Ostapenko for a place in the final in St Petersburg
Anett Kontaveit appears to have forgotten to lose when she heads indoors these days, the Estonian’s 7-6 (7), 6-2 win over Olympic champion Belinda Bencic at the St Petersburg Open giving her an 18th straight win in indoor competition.
Kontaveit, who won titles in Ostrava, Moscow, and Cluj-Napoca at the back end of last season as she qualified for the year-end WTA Finals for the first time, has now won more matches in a row than anyone since Justine Henin, back in 2010.
Kontaveit will play Jelena Ostapenko in the semis in St Petersburg and two more wins would not only give her another title but also help her to close the gap in the all-time list of indoor winning streaks.
As compiled by WTA Insider, Courtney Nguyen, on the WTA’s website, Kontaveit now lies sixth in the all-time list. She’s just three behind Jana Novotna and four behind Henin and Lindsay Davenport. She has a long way to go to get to the top two, though, with Steffi Graf (43) well ahead of Monica Seles (32).
Longest WTA Indoor Tournament Win Streaks Since 1989
43: Steffi Graf (1989 Washington D.C. – 1990 Virginia Slims Championships)
32: Monica Seles (1991 Philadelphia – 1993 Paris)
22: Lindsay Davenport (2001 Tokyo – 2002 Moscow)
22: Justine Henin (2007 Stuttgart to – 2010 Stuttgart)
21: Jana Novotna (1994 Leipzig to – 1994 Virginia Slims Championships)
Regardless of whether she eventually hunts down any of the women above her, Kontaveit is on such a run of confidence that it’s going to take a lot to stop her in St Petersburg, although she knows that it might not always be her day. “You can’t play perfect tennis every day,” she said.
Greece’s Maria Sakkari will play Irina-Camelia Begu in the other semi-final. Sakkari beat Elise Mertens of Belgium 7-6 (7), 6-2 while Begu, who knocked out Petra Kvitova in the previous round, saw off Tereza Martincova 6-4, 6-2.