The last player Serena Williams beat before retiring last year has now called it quits on her own career after a second-round loss at Wimbledon on Thursday.
Anett Kontaveit, a 27-year-old Estonian who has been struggling with a chronic back issue, lost to 32nd-seeded Marie Bouzkova of the Czech Republic 6-1, 6-2 at the All England Club.
“Just a lot of emotions. There’s sadness, there’s happiness,” Kontaveit said. “There’s a bit of everything.”
Kontaveit was ranked No. 2 in the world last year and was seeded second at the U.S. Open. But she lost to Williams in the second round, a match that ended up being the American great’s final victory in a career that saw her win 23 Grand Slam singles titles.
Kontaveit has won six titles in her career, including four in 2021. At major tournaments, her best result was reaching the quarterfinals at the Australian Open in 2020.
After the match, Kontaveit noted her decision was final, but did point out that it was her last match “in singles.”
“I’m pretty firm with this decision,” she said. “When I stand up for too long or sit down for too long in the same position, it starts bothering me.”
Williams went on to lose to Ajla Tomljanović in her final match.
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