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Kaia Kanepi

Date of birth : 1985-06-10
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Haapsalu, Estonia
Nationality : Estonian
Category : Sports
Last modified : 2011-05-11

Kaia Kanepi is an Estonian professional female tennis player. Her career-high ranking was set at World No. 16 on 14 February 2011 which is also her current rank.

Kanepi won her first Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Title in Palermo in 2010, becoming the first Estonian female player to win a WTA title. She has also reached three Grand Slam Quarter-finals, becoming the first Estonian to achieve this and was the first Estonian to be ranked in the top twenty.

CAREER:

2010:
By the start of the new season Kanepi looked very much in better physical shape than in 2009. Kanepi reached second round at ASB Classic, defeating World No. 15 Li Na in straight sets before losing 6–2, 6–3 to Maria Kirilenko in the second round. She fell in the first round of the 2010 Moorilla Hobart International to 7th seed Zheng Jie in a tight three-setter 4–6, 6–3, 7–6(4). At the first Slam of the year at the 2010 Australian Open, Kanepi defeated Chan Yung Jan 7–6(4), 6–2 in the first round but fell to 19th seed Nadia Petrova 6–4, 6–4 in the second round.

Kanepi was seeded 5th at The Cellular South Cup in Memphis. She was in the same half of the draw as Maria Sharapova. She defeated Arantxa Rus 6–0, 6–4 in the first round and former World No. 7 Nicole Vaidišová 4–6, 6–1, 6–3 in the second round. She fell in three sets to fifth seed Petra Kvitová in the quarterfinals with a score of 1–6, 6–3, 7–6(0). Despite this, Kanepi's ranking fell to World No. 96 due to her not defending her points from Dubai last year.

Kanepi reached the second round of Acapulco but lost to top seed and defending champion Venus Williams 6–4, 6–4. Kanepi also fell in the second round of the 2010 Monterrey Open to 2nd seed Daniela Hantuchová 6–1, 6–3.

Kanepi then flew to America to compete at two Premier Mandatory tournaments. At the 2010 BNP Paribas Open and the 2010 Sony Ericsson Open, she fell in the first rounds 6–7(1), 6–3, 6–4 to Romanian Sorana Cîrstea and to Lucie Šafářová 6–7(1), 6–4, 6–3, respectively. Kanepi's ranking fell out of the World's top 100 following these tournaments.

Kanepi then represented Estonia in the Fed Cup World Group Play-offs against Belgium. She surprised everyone by defeating former World No. 1 Justine Henin on clay in Belgium 6–7(4), 6–4, 6–3 in her second match up. She was defeated by World No. 12 Yanina Wickmayer in her first match 6–2, 4–6, 6–1.

In the beginning of May, Kanepi won ten straight matches to claim her seventh and eighth ITF tournaments. Kanepi qualified for the 2010 French Open, where she defeated Pauline Parmentier in the first round. She pushed World No. 4 Jelena Janković to three sets before losing 6–2, 3–6, 6–4. This allowed her ranking to re-enter the top 100.

At the start of the Grass-Court season, she reached the quarterfinals as a qualifier at 2010 AEGON Classic in Birmingham, defeating 12th seed Elena Baltacha, Jarmila Groth and Michelle Larcher de Brito en route before losing to top seed and eventual champion Li Na 6–4, 6–2.

Kanepi then successfully qualified for the 2010 Wimbledon Championships defeating Olga Savchuk, Elena Bovina and Ajla Tomljanović in straight sets. In the first round, Kanepi caused a big upset when she defeated World No. 6 and French Open finalist Samantha Stosur 6–4, 6–4. She then defeated Edina Gallovits 6–4, 7–5 in second and World No. 31 Alexandra Dulgheru 6–1, 6–2 in third round. Kanepi then reached her second Grand Slam Quarter-final when she defeated Klára Zakopalová 6–2, 6–4 in the 4th round. In the quarter-finals, Kanepi lost an extremely tough three set match with Czech Petra Kvitová 4–6, 7–6(8), 8–6 despite having a total of five match points to reach her first semi-final and being up a double break in the final set. With her success at Wimbledon, Kanepi's ranking rose to World No. 38.

Kanepi next played at the 2010 Swedish Open where she fell in the first round to 5th seed Arantxa Parra Santonja 6–4, 7–5. However, Kanepi continued her strong play at the 2010 Internazionali Femminili di Palermo where, as the fifth seed, she defeated Rossana de los Ríos 7–5, 6–2, Ioana Raluca Olaru 6–1, 6–2, 3rd seed Sara Errani 6–2, 6–2 and Romina Oprandi 6–3, 6–2 to reach her third WTA tour final. In the final, Kanepi defeated top seed, World No. 12 and defending champion Flavia Pennetta 6–4, 6–3 and not dropping a set in the whole tournament to claim her first WTA tour title.

Kanepi is seeded 31st at the 2010 US Open. She defeated Alizé Cornet 3–6, 6–1, 6–0, Akgul Amanmuradova 6–2, 6–4, 4th seed Jelena Janković 6–2, 7–6(1), and 15th seed Yanina Wickmayer 0–6, 7–6(2), 6–1 to advance to her first US Open quarterfinal, where she lost to the 7th seed and eventual runner-up Vera Zvonareva 6–3, 7–5.

Kanepi then entered the 2010 Toray Pan Pacific Open and defeated Melanie Oudin in the first round 6–4, 6–4. She then upset 13th seed Shahar Pe'er and 3rd seed Jelena Janković winning 6–3, 7–6(5) and 6–4, 6–4 respectively. Her run was ended in the quarterfinals by French Open champion Francesca Schiavone who beat Kanepi in a marathon match 7–5, 4–6, 7–5.

2011:
Kaia Kanepi started her season with a loss to Bojana Jovanovski 6–4 6–4 in the first round of the 2011 Medibank International Sydney. Her next tournament is the 2011 Australian Open where she is the 20th seed. There she defeated Slovakias Magdaléna Rybáriková 2–6, 6–4, 6–3 in the first round but fell to Julia Görges 6–4, 3–6, 6–4 in the second round. Kanepi, as the 3rd seed, got all the way to the semi-final in 2011 Open GDF Suez, where she beat Anastasija Sevastova 7-6(5), 6-2; Sofia Arvidsson 6-3, 6-4 and Dominika Cibulková 6-2, 2-6, 6-2. In the semi-final she faced the 1st seed Kim Clijsters who was too strong for Kanepi this time and Kanepi lost the match 1-6, 7-5. Kaia had her chances in the second set, being 5-4 in the lead in her own service game to actually take the second set, but Clijsters battled back to win the second set and the match. Kanepi is the 14th seed at the Indian Wells Masters. She had a bye in the first round and in the second round Kanepi deafeted Gisela Dulko 3–6, 6–2, 6–2.

PERSONAL:

Started playing tennis at age 8 with parents and sisters
Preferred surface is clay
Father, Jaak, works in real estate; mother, Anne, is a homemaker; has two older sisters, Karin and Kadri
Enjoys surfing internet, rollerskating, swimming, going to movies, listening to music (especially R&B, hip-hop, dance).


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