World No. 2 Anett Kontaveit claimed a straight-set victory over Anastasia Potapova in Hamburg but afterward insisted the Russian wasn’t an easy opponent.
Kontaveit, the top-seeded player in the Hamburg main draw, saw off Potapova 6-3 7-5 to progress into her first final since February.
“I thought I had to play really good tennis to beat Anastasia today,” Kontaveit said, per the WTA website. “I’m very happy with the way I was fighting and trying my hardest for every point.”
Kontaveit managed to close out Potapova in straight sets
Kontaveit earned the first break of the match in the second game but her lead was short-lived as Potapova broke back in the third game.
In the sixth game, Kontaveit broke Potapova for a 4-2 lead but once again got broken back in the following game.
After blowing two breaks, Kontaveit broke Potapova again in the eighth game to open a 5-3 lead.
This time, Kontaveit made no mistake after claiming a break as she served out for the first set in the ninth game.
After losing the first set, Potapova started the second set with a 2-0 lead.
Down by an early break in the second set, Kontaveit responded by claiming three consecutive breaks and winning the next five games for a 5-2 lead.
Just when it seemed the match was over, Potapova recovered from two breaks down and tied the second set to five games apiece.
However, Kontaveit was able to keep her focus as she broke Potapova again in the 11th game for a 6-5 lead, before serving out for the match in the following game.
In the Hamburg final, Kontaveit faces Bernarda Pera, who won Budapest last week.
“I’ve been working hard for a long time, and I felt good in practice, and I wasn’t able to execute that in matches,” Pera said. “Something changed, maybe I relaxed a little bit. One win after another, the confidence grows a little bit, and it changes.”
It remains to be seen if Kontaveit can end Pera’s winning streak and lift her second title of the year.