Both players were seeded before the tournament, which began on Monday. Kontaveit is the number two seed while Kanepi was the 31st seed.
Kontaveit dropped one place in the newly announced WTA rankings to third at the start of the week, having last played competitively at last month’s French Open following a bout with Covid in late April, and has therefore been she lost the tournament at Eastbourne, where she had been a finalist last year and recently acquired a new trainer in Torben Beltz, with Monday being the first test for the new partnership.
However, the 26-year-old Estonian from Tallinn prevailed in a match that lasted just under 90 minutes on Court No. 2, beating Pera, ranked 123rd, in straight sets and saying after the game that: “I love playing on grass. “I’m very happy and very, very happy… It’s been an amazing feeling to be the second seed. I haven’t played any previous tournaments, so I’m not very confident, but I was really enjoying myself here and was happy to play again.”
Kontaveit immediately saved four break points in the first game and broke Pera’s serve and was soon 3:0 up in games in the first set. After early saving two break points, the score was 4:1, but Pera didn’t finish, chaining four games in a row to find himself up 5:4. However, Kontaveit fought back and took the set 7:5.
The second set was more one-sided with Kontaveit breaking her opponent’s serve several times to win 6:1 and take the match.
Kontaveit served five aces to one from Pera, while both players committed six double faults during the match.
Kontaveit will face Jule Niemeier in the second round. The German is ranked 97th in the world and beat China’s Wang Wiyu in straight sets, 6:1, 6:4. The pair have not met before competitively on the WTA tour.
Kanepi out of Wimbledon singles
Meanwhile, Kaia Kanepi was playing around the same time as her compatriot, on a 15 pitch and against 19-year-old Diane Parry, ranked 77 in the world.
Kanepi, 37, has seen a rally in form of late that has taken her back into the top 40 for the first time in several years (38th in the world as of Monday) but still lost the first set 6:4, after to break your opponent’s mark. she serve only once.
In the second set, the Estonian, from Haapsalu, went up 3:1, but a few games later and after both players broke each other’s serve, the score was 4:4. After another break from Parry, the French player held her serve to take the set 6:4 again, and with it the match.
Kanepi served five aces and committed five double faults throughout the match; Parry’s respective figures were three and one.
Kanepi realized two of the four break points that came his way, Parry converting four of seven.
Hemp made two of four break chances, and Parry was able to use four of seven break points.
“Overall, it seemed like I had some really good gems on my serve, but a few didn’t work that well. I think not just on my serve, but the whole game had a little bit of ups and downs.” Kanepi told the Delfi portal after the match (link in Estonian).
However, the championships are not completely over for Kanepi. She will be in action in the women’s doubles tomorrow with her Czech playing partner, Renata Voracova.