August 30, 2019,

Coaching in a university often in the power rankings makes your job of recruiting top high school talent for your collegiate program a lot easier.

The United States Women’s Water Polo Team has made golden global waves in recent years. Here is why. As reported at nbcolympics.com, “Not only did the U.S. women’s water polo team become the first women’s team to win back-to-back gold medals when they defeated Italy 12-5 Friday, but the U.S. also continued a streak of being the only team to medal in every Olympics that has offered women’s water polo. The U.S. now boasts two gold, two silver, and a bronze medal in five Olympics Games since 2000.”

Now that is as impressive as it is unique.

What is not unique about this stellar team is that when you review their roster, most were star athletes in their colleges primarily located in California namely Stanford, UCLA and USC.

Like the power schools in NCAA Football, their teams are comprised of talent emanating from expected places.

What makes all sports so exciting and mesmerizing is when a super star rises from a unique and unexpected place that is barely on the radar.

Would you say that Estonia is the bastion for global sports stars that impact the world?

Maybe not, but life often brings us wonderful surprises and one of them is a brilliant beautiful tennis star named Anett Kontaveit who is on the rise in the WTA rankings and where was she born?

Where else?

Tallinn, Estonia.

You knew that.

We are falling in love and want a closer look.

Anett Kontaveit is an Estonian professional tennis player.

fciwomenswrestling.com femcompetitor.com, www.anettkontaveit.ee-photo-credit.png

Ms. Kontaveit has won one singles title on the WTA Tour as well as eleven singles and five doubles titles on the ITF circuit. In her career, she has reached one Premier Mandatory semifinal at the 2019 Miami Open and the final of the Premier 5 2018 Wuhan Open. She reached her best singles ranking of No. 14 on 1 April 2019 and peaked at No. 115 in the doubles rankings on 19 August 2019.

Anett won the Estonian Championships in 2009 and again in 2010, being the youngest player ever in Estonia to do so.

She had great success on the junior tour in 2011, her best Grand Slam result of the year being at Roland Garros in May. There she made the quarterfinals with wins over world number six Danka Kovinić and future-Wimbledon junior champion Ashleigh Barty.

Our luminary won her first ITF title in SEB Tallink Open 2011, beating Zuzana Luknárová in the final.

2011 continued to be a great year. Anett also had surprising success on the professional tour as she has won three professional titles.

She won the European Under-16 Junior Championships with 14-year-old Tatjana Vorobjova in girls’ doubles, where they beat first seeded Czechs Barbora Krejčíková and Petra Rohanová.

Her trajectory was continuing to ascend until 2016.

After losing in the first round of the Mexican Open to No. 4 seed Johanna Konta, Kontaveit reached the semis in Monterrey, losing there to Kirsten Flipkens; however, she failed to qualify for both Indian Wells and Miami. She also lost in the first round of the French Open to Venus Williams.

After losing in the first round of the Wimbledon Championships to Barbora Strýcová, her next six tournaments (including the US Open) also ended in early exits; therefore, her ranking plummeted and she fell from the top 100.

A fighter who never says die, due to Anett’s fortitude and grit, 2017 would be a great year.

At her first grass tournament of 2017, the Ricoh Open, Anett reached her second final of the year. En route she scored wins over sixth seed Kristýna Plíšková, former Wimbledon semifinalist Kirsten Flipkens, Carina Witthöft and seventh seed Lesia Tsurenko. In the final she got past Natalia Vikhlyantseva to clinch her maiden WTA title and ensure a top 40 debut.

The then 21-year-old began the season ranked 111th but has soared into the Top 30 after compiling a sparkling 32-11 record in the first seven months of the season.

Bravo.

At the 2018 Australian Open she defeated Aleksandra Krunić and Mona Barthel to advance to the third round where she faced World No. 7 Jeļena Ostapenko. Kontaveit defeated her 6–3 1–6 6–3 to advance to the fourth round in Australia for the first time.

We think you can see why Anett is creating global excitement. Still every beautiful female tennis player is just a kid from somewhere. For Anett that somewhere is Tallinn, Estonia.

Tallinn is the capital and largest city of Estonia. It is situated on the northern coast of the country, on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, 50 miles south of Helsinki, east of Stockholm, north of Riga and west of Saint Petersburg in Harju County.

Tallinn has a population of 449,160.

Tallinn’s Old Town is one of the best preserved medieval cities in Europe and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Tallinn is the major political, financial, cultural and educational center of Estonia. Often dubbed the Silicon Valley of Europe, it has the highest number of startups per person in Europe and is a birthplace of many international companies, including Skype.

With all of its business prowess, Tallinn is still one of nature’s greatest gems.

Tallinn’s luring coastline dotted with promenades and sandy beaches is especially rewarding during the summer but offers scenic views of the iconic cityscape throughout the year.

The leaders in global travel, Lonely Planet knows this region very well. They smile, “No longer the plaything of greater powers – Danish, Swedish, Polish, German and Soviet – Tallinn is now a proud European capital with an allure all its own. It’s lively yet peaceful, absurdly photogenic and bursting with wonderful sights – ancient churches, medieval streetscapes and noble merchants’ houses. Throw in delightful food and vibrant modern culture and it’s no wonder Tallinn seems in danger of being loved to death, especially after a few cruise ships dock.”

We’re falling in love with Tallinn almost as must as we love Anett.

As stated at her WTA bio, Anett loves to go shopping so there must be nothing like coming home. She also loves the atmosphere of the US Open. Don’t we all?

In terms of her tennis we are all starting to feel at home with her, British accent and all which she acquired from hanging out with and skyping her British friends.

When interviewed by the US Open leadership regarding her exceptional play Anett responded, “I feel like all the hard work is starting to pay off. At the start of the year, I’ve been gaining confidence with every match, and I’ve played a lot, so I think just playing, playing, playing. I’ve managed to get through a lot of tough matches and turn things around for myself.”

Now that will place you on the professional women’s tennis map.

As of this August 29, 2019 writing, she is making her mark at the 2019 Open having defeated Sara Sorribes Tormo 6-1, 6-1 and on one of the non-show courts, she put on a big show by dispatching of Ajla Tomljanovic in a tough come from behind battle, 4-6, 7-5, 6-2.

Expected, would be a future super star emanating from expected tennis powers of the world, namely Florida.

Thus far, she is doing the unexpected, reaching the 3rd round of arguably the most important major tennis event of the year.

Our amazing talent utilizes a variety of strokes that generally force opponents to hit awkward returns enabling her to strike fast winners or draw quick errors. While seeking a short ball from her opponent, she will typically attack with a high kick serve, alter pace with a backhand slice, or change direction amidst a prolonged rally.

Sounds intense.

What makes Anett’s play even more exciting and mesmerizing is when a quiet super star rises from a unique and unexpected place that is barely on the radar.

Well thanks to Anett, Estonia is inching closer to front row and center on the US Open show courts.  

~ ~ ~

OPENING PHOTO USTA/Brian Friedman) photo credit

http://www.nbcolympics.com/news/closer-look-us-womens-water-polo-gold-medal-victory

http://www.usawaterpolo.org/sports/w-senior/mtt/uswp-w-senior-mtt.html

https://www.tallink.com/anett-kontaveit

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anett_Kontaveit

http://www.itftennis.com/procircuit/players/player/profile.aspx?playerid=100148047

http://www.wtatennis.com/player/318425/print/bio

http://www.wtatennis.com/news/wta-insider-getting-to-know-anett-kontaveit

http://www.usopen.org/en_US/news/articles/2017-08-17/2017-08-17_the_open_interview_anett_kontaveit.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tallinn

https://www.visitestonia.com/en/where-to-go/tallinn

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/estonia/tallinn 

https://www.visittallinn.ee/eng/visitor/discover/articles-guides/top-things-to-do-in-tallinn-in-six-hours

https://www.visittallinn.ee/eng/visitor/discover/articles-guides/vegan-restaurants-in-tallinn

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Estonia

https://www.visitestonia.com/en/why-estonia