Kaia Kanepi at the 2013 Wimbledon Championships
|Full name||Kaia Kanepi|
10 June 1985 |
Haapsalu, Estonian SSR, Soviet Union
|Height||1.81 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|Plays||Right-handed (two-handed backhand)|
|Career titles||4 WTA, 8 ITF|
|Highest ranking||15 (20 August 2012)|
|Current ranking||26 (3 March 2014)|
|Grand Slam Singles results|
|Australian Open||3R (2009)|
|French Open||QF (2008, 2012)|
|Wimbledon||QF (2010, 2013)|
|US Open||QF (2010)|
|Olympic Games||3R (2008)|
|Career titles||0 WTA, 2 ITF|
|Highest ranking||106 (6 June 2011)|
|Current ranking||387 (3 March 2014)|
|Grand Slam Doubles results|
|Australian Open||2R (2011, 2012, 2014)|
|French Open||3R (2012)|
|Wimbledon||3R (2008, 2009)|
|US Open||1R (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013)|
|Other Doubles tournaments|
|Olympic Games||1R (2004, 2008)|
|Last updated on: 3 March 2014.|
Kanepi won her first WTA Tour title in Palermo in 2010, becoming the first Estonian female player to win a WTA title. She has also reached five Grand Slam quarterfinals in three different Grand Slams, becoming the first Estonian to achieve this and was the first Estonian to be ranked in the world's top 20. She won her second WTA title at the Brisbane International in January 2012.
Kaia Kanepi was born in Haapsalu. Her father, Jaak (a real estate broker) and mother Anne (a homemaker) played tennis. They also have daughters Kadri, who won a tennis scholarship to study in the United States, and Karin, a dedicated horse rider. Kaia, who always watched her parents and sisters play, discovered her love for tennis at an early age. She started playing at the age of 8.
Her family has always supported her desire to play professional tennis. She reached world number one in the International Tennis Federation (ITF) junior rankings before turning professional in 2000. She has won eight ITF singles titles and is the top-ranked Estonian female tennis player.
Until the autumn of 2007, Kaia was coached by Andrei Luzgin. After Luzgin, Fredrik Loven from Sweden became her coach, but their partnership ended in February 2008. Kanepi's next coach (until September 2008) was Pablo Giacopelli. From November 2008, she was coached by Luca Appino. After November 2009, Kanepi was coached by fellow Estonia pro Mait Künnap. In February 2010, she broke up with her coach and agent. In April, she started to work with Silver Karjus, and her quality of game rose again.
At the end of 2006, she reached her first WTA Tour final during the Gaz de France Stars tournament in Hasselt, Belgium. She came through three qualification rounds and beat Anne Kremer, Nathalie Dechy, Eleni Daniilidou, Francesca Schiavone, and Michaëlla Krajicek to eventually play the final against Kim Clijsters, to whom she lost in straight sets.
At the Australian Open, Kanepi struggled, but defeated 28th-seeded Flavia Pennetta of Italy before losing to Alicia Molik in the second round. At Indian Wells, she defeated wildcard Kristina Brandi in the first round, but lost in the second round to 14th seed and eventual champion Daniela Hantuchová. At the Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Florida, she stunned Patty Schnyder in the second round, before losing to qualifier Vera Dushevina in the next round.
In late July, Kanepi reached the semifinals of the Bad Gastein tournament in Austria, where she fell to Francesca Schiavone. This was her third career semifinal and first of the year. Afterwards, she made her top 40 debut at world number 40.
At the French Open, Kanepi defeated 6th seed Anna Chakvetadze. She then defeated 29th-seeded Anabel Medina Garrigues for a place in the fourth round. Outplaying unseeded Petra Kvitová she reached the quarterfinals, where she was defeated by 4th seed Svetlana Kuznetsova in straight sets.
Kanepi was granted direct entry at Wimbledon, where she lost in the first round to 6th seed Serena Williams.
In September, Kanepi reached the quarterfinals as a qualifier of the Tier I Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo, where she defeated Vera Dushevina, world number 13 Chakvetadze, and Virginie Razzano, before losing to world number five Dinara Safina of Russia. She then reached the semifinals of the Hansol Women's Open in Seoul, South Korea, where she was beaten by the eventual champion and first seed Maria Kirilenko.
She then made only her second final at the WTA level at the Tier III Japan Open Tennis Championships in Tokyo. She defeated Lucie Šafářová, Yanina Wickmayer, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, and 8th seed Aleksandra Wozniak, before losing in the final to Danish then world number 16 and top-seed Caroline Wozniacki in three sets.
She was named the Best Female Athlete of Estonia 2008 by the Association of Estonian Sports Journalists.
Kanepi reached her career-best third round at the Australian Open, but lost miserably to then world number three Dinara Safina in straight sets. She had an epic match with Kimiko Date, former world number four, in the first round.
She was a member of the Estonia Fed Cup team in rounds played in February. She was paired with Maret Ani, and the Estonian team beat Bulgaria, Croatia, and Belarus. Kanepi won all the singles rubbers that she played (including a win over then world number 15 Victoria Azarenka). She set a new personal 196 kilometres per hour (122 mph) serve record in the tournament, among the fastest ever served by a woman.
Kanepi continued her year in GDF Suez Open, a WTA premier tournament, but lost in the second round to Émilie Loit. Weak serves and health problems were cited as reasons for the loss to a lower-ranked player.
At the top-level Dubai Tennis Championships (9 out of 10 of the 10 highest-ranked WTA players participated), she advanced to the third round to set up a match with former world number one Jelena Janković. She defeated Janković in straight sets. She was the highest-seeded player Kanepi had by that time defeated. Kanepi commented on her match briefly after her match: "I am really happy at the moment. My game plan was to mix my game up and it worked. My coach Luca Appino has also improved my serve." Janković did not agree in the post-match interview that her loss was due to Kanepi playing well, though: "This was the worst match of my career. It was a horrible day. I kept framing the ball, kept making unforced errors and could not put two balls together on the court. I didn't move properly, and I didn't see the ball properly. She didn't have to do too much. Basically, I beat myself. I don't know what happened out there. I am ashamed of this performance." Kanepi beat Elena Vesnina in the quarterfinals in straight sets. She was, however, denied a place in the finals by Virginie Razzano.
Kanepi then participated at the Rome Masters. She defeated Patty Schnyder in the third round, but lost to Victoria Azarenka in the quarterfinals. Her next tournament was the 2009 Mutua Madrileña Madrid Open, where she was seeded sixteenth. However, she retired in the first round against Lucie Šafářová. In the French Open opening round, Kanepi was defeated by Kazakhstan's Yaroslava Shvedova in the first surprise of the day. Her first round loss led to a drop in her ranking, as she fell to world number 24.
She suffered a first round loss at the China Open in Beijing to Serena Williams in a match where she had more break points than Serena and lost 5–7, 4–6. This was her 12th straight loss. Kanepi ended her losing streak in Dubai in December, where she won in two sets in the first round.
By the start of the new season, Kanepi seemed to be in better physical shape than in 2009. Kanepi reached the second round at the ASB Classic, defeating world number 15 Li Na in straight sets, before losing to Maria Kirilenko in the second round. She fell in the first round of the 2010 Moorilla Hobart International to seventh seed Zheng Jie in a tight three-setter. At the first Grand Slam of the year at the 2010 Australian Open, Kanepi defeated Chan Yung-jan in the first round, but fell to 19th seed Nadia Petrova in the second round.
Kanepi was seeded fifth at the Cellular South Cup in Memphis. She was in the same half of the draw as Maria Sharapova. She defeated Arantxa Rus in the first round, and former world number seven Nicole Vaidišová in the second round. She fell in three sets to fifth seed Petra Kvitová in the quarterfinals. Despite this, Kanepi's ranking fell to world number 96, due to the fact that she did not defend her points from Dubai from the previous year.
Kanepi reached the second round in Acapulco, but lost to top seed and defending champion Venus Williams. Kanepi also fell in the second round of the 2010 Monterrey Open to second seed Daniela Hantuchová in straight sets.
Kanepi then competed in two Premier Mandatory tournaments. At the 2010 BNP Paribas Open and the 2010 Sony Ericsson Open, she fell in the first rounds to Sorana Cîrstea and Lucie Šafářová respectively. Kanepi's ranking fell out of the top 100 following these tournaments.
Kanepi then represented Estonia in the 2010 Fed Cup World Group Play-offs against Belgium. She was defeated by world number 12 Yanina Wickmayer in her first match, but surprisingly defeated former world number one Justine Henin in her second match-up.
At the beginning of May, Kanepi won ten straight matches to claim her seventh and eighth career ITF tournaments. Kanepi qualified for the 2010 French Open, where she defeated Pauline Parmentier in the first round. She pushed world number four Jelena Janković to three sets before losing in round two. 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.
Kanepi then 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 number six and French Open finalist Samantha Stosur. She then defeated Edina Gallovits in the second round, and world number 31 Alexandra Dulgheru in round three. Kanepi then reached her second Grand Slam quarterfinal, when she defeated Klára Zakopalová in the fourth round. In the quarterfinals, Kanepi lost an extremely tough three-set match to Czech Petra Kvitová, despite having a total of five match points and being a double break up in the final set. With her success at Wimbledon, Kanepi's ranking rose to world number 38.
Kanepi next played at the 2010 Swedish Open, where she fell in the first round to fifth seed Arantxa Parra Santonja. However, Kanepi continued her strong play at the 2010 Internazionali Femminili di Palermo where, as the fifth seed, she defeated Rossana de los Ríos, Raluca Olaru, third seed Sara Errani and Romina Oprandi to reach her third WTA tour final. In the final, Kanepi defeated top seed, world number 12, and defending champion Flavia Pennetta, not dropping a set in the whole tournament to claim her first WTA tour title.
Kanepi was seeded 31st at the 2010 US Open. She defeated Alizé Cornet, Akgul Amanmuradova, fourth seed Jelena Janković and 15th seed Yanina Wickmayer to advance to her first US Open quarterfinal, where she lost to the seventh seed and eventual runner-up Vera Zvonareva.
Kanepi then entered the 2010 Toray Pan Pacific Open and defeated Melanie Oudin in the first round. She then upset 13th seed Shahar Pe'er and third seed Jelena Janković in succession. Her run was ended in the quarterfinals by French Open champion Francesca Schiavone, who beat Kanepi in three sets.
Kanepi started her season with a loss to Bojana Jovanovski, in the first round of the 2011 Medibank International Sydney. Her next tournament was the 2011 Australian Open, where she was the 20th seed. There, she defeated Magdaléna Rybáriková in the first round, but fell to Julia Görges in round two. Kanepi, as the third seed, reached the semifinal in 2011 Open GDF Suez, where she beat Anastasija Sevastova, Sofia Arvidsson and Dominika Cibulková. In the semifinal, she faced the first seed Kim Clijsters, who was too strong for Kanepi this time, and Kanepi lost the match in straight sets. Kanepi had her chances in the second set, being up 5–4 in her own service game to actually take the second set, but Clijsters battled back to win the second set and the match. Kanepi was the 14th seed at the Indian Wells Masters. She had a bye in the first round, and in the second round defeated Gisela Dulko. At the 2011 French Open, seeded 16th, she beat Sofia Arvidsson and Britain's Heather Watson in straight sets, before being upset in the third round by unseeded Ekaterina Makarova.
She also reached the semifinals of an ITF event in Helsinki.
Kanepi entered her first tournament of the year in Brisbane. She defeated Alexandra Panova in the first round before upsetting number seven seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and number two seed Andrea Petkovic. In the semifinals, she defeated number three seed Francesca Schiavone to book her place in the final against Daniela Hantuchová, which she went on to win in straight sets. Kanepi then entered the first Grand Slam of the year, the 2012 Australian Open, and in the first round overpowered Johanna Larsson, but lost in second round to future quarterfinalist Ekaterina Makarova in straight sets.
She then passed a chance to represent her nation in 2012 Fed Cup, wanting to dedicate herself to singles tournaments, but her hopes were cut short when she had to pull out of the Open GDF Suez tournament in Paris due to a sore shoulder. The injury also forced her to skip tournaments in Doha and Dubai. Kanepi returned in March at the 2012 BNP Paribas Open and lost to Chanelle Scheepers in the second round. At the Sony Ericsson Open she also lost in the second round to Silvia Soler Espinosa in straight sets. At the end of the month Kanepi and her coach for the last two years, Silver Karjus, split up over a psychologist, who supposedly influenced Kanepi's direction so much that it was impossible for him to continue working with the her. She then entered the 2012 e-Boks Open as the 5th seed and won against Anastasia Rodionova and Tímea Babos to reach the quarterfinals where she lost to number three seed Jelena Janković. Kanepi then went on to win her third WTA title at the Estoril Open, defeating Carla Suárez Navarro in the final.
At Roland Garros, Kanepi entered as the 23rd seed and played a very good tournament given her ranking, defeating 9th seed Caroline Wozniacki in the third and Arantxa Rus in the fourth round, but was defeated in the quarterfinals by Maria Sharapova in straight sets.
An achilles billateral injury caused Kanepi to withdraw from Birmingham, Eastbourne, Wimbledon and eventually also from the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Despite not having played since the French Open she reached a career high of number 15 on 20 August.
Her continuing achilles billateral injury caused Kanepi to withdraw from the Australian Open, Indian Wells, and Miami tournaments in 2013. However, she returned to the tour in April, playing the 2013 BNP Paribas Katowice Open, losing in the second round to Karolína Plíšková. Again, Kanepi lost in the second round at the 2013 Grand Prix SAR La Princesse Lalla Meryem. The week before the French Open she won the Brussels WTA tournament on clay. At Wimbledon, she played well and beat the home favourite Laura Robson in the fourth round before she was beaten in the quarterfinals by Germany's Sabine Lisicki.
At the US Open Kanepi was the 25th seed. She faced American wildcard Vania King in the first round, winning in three sets. She beat Anna Karolína Schmiedlová in the second round, but lost to Angelique Kerber in the third.
Kanepi builds up her game around her powerful groundstrokes. Her serve is considered to be one of the strongest on the WTA tour. Kanepi frequently hits 170 km/h to 180 km/h serves. She generally serves for power and tries to hit the lines but sometimes hits a powerful body serve to push her opponents behind the baseline. But sometimes her serve can break down which affects her game. In 2008 she began to improve her volleying skills and under her coach Luca Appino begun to use sliced backhand more often thus making her playing more versatile.
She likes to return serves mainly with her backhand which she hits extremely flat and tries to position herself to receive with backhand but is also capable of hitting good service returns with her forehand as well. She likes to end points early but she is capable of playing long rallies and reducing her unforced error count. Overall, she is an offensive baseliner but depending on the game situation and scoreboard Kanepi can play a more defensive game.
|Runner-up||1.||5 November 2006||Gaz de France Stars, Hasselt, Belgium||Hard (i)||Kim Clijsters||3–6, 6–3, 4–6|
|Runner-up||2.||5 October 2008||Japan Open Tennis Championships, Tokyo, Japan||Hard||Caroline Wozniacki||2–6, 6–3, 1–6|
|Winner||1.||18 July 2010||Internazionali Femminili di Palermo, Palermo, Italy||Clay||Flavia Pennetta||6–4, 6–3|
|Runner-up||3.||23 October 2011||Kremlin Cup, Moscow, Russia||Hard (i)||Dominika Cibulková||6–3, 6–7(1–7), 5–7|
|Winner||2.||7 January 2012||Brisbane International, Brisbane, Australia||Hard||Daniela Hantuchová||6–2, 6–1|
|Winner||3.||5 May 2012||Estoril Open, Estoril, Portugal||Clay||Carla Suárez Navarro||3–6, 7–6(8–6), 6–4|
|Runner-up||4.||23 September 2012||Korea Open, Seoul, South Korea||Hard||Caroline Wozniacki||1–6, 0–6|
|Winner||4.||25 May 2013||Brussels Open, Bruxelles, Belgium||Clay||Shuai Peng||6–2, 7–5|
|Runner-up||1.||15 April 2012||e-Boks Open, Copenhagen, Denmark||Hard||Sofia Arvidsson|| Kimiko Date-Krumm
|2–6, 6–4, [5–10]|
Grand Slam singles performance timeline
|Australian Open||A||Q2||A||Q2||A||Q1||2R||1R||3R||2R||2R||2R||A||1R||0 / 7||6–7|
|French Open||A||A||A||Q2||A||2R||1R||QF||1R||2R||3R||QF||2R||0 / 8||13–8|
|Wimbledon||A||A||A||A||A||1R||2R||1R||1R||QF||1R||A||QF||0 / 7||9–7|
|US Open||A||Q1||Q2||A||Q2||3R||1R||2R||1R||QF||2R||A||3R||0 / 7||10–7|
|Win–Loss||0–0||0–0||0–0||0–0||0–0||3–3||2–4||5–4||2–4||10–4||4–4||5–2||7–3||0 / 28||38–28|
|WTA Premier Mandatory tournaments|
|Indian Wells||A||A||A||A||A||1R||2R||2R||3R||1R||3R||2R||A||0 / 7||4–7|
|Miami||A||A||A||A||A||A||3R||4R||3R||1R||2R||2R||A||0 / 6||6–6|
|Madrid||Not held||1R||A||1R||1R||QF||0 / 4||3–4|
|Beijing||Tier IV||Tier II||1R||2R||3R||A||2R||0 / 3||2–3|
|WTA Premier 5 tournaments|
|Dubai||Tier II||SF||A||3R||Premier||0 / 2||6–2|
|Doha||Tier III||Tier II||A||Not held||P||A||A||0 / 0||0–0|
|Rome||A||A||A||A||A||A||2R||1R||QF||A||1R||A||A||0 / 4||4–4|
|Montreal / Toronto||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||1R||3R||A||A||A||0 / 2||2–2|
|Cincinnati||Not held||Tier III||1R||Q1||A||A||A||0 / 1||0–1|
|Tokyo||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||QF||1R||QF||QF||2R||A||0 / 5||9–5|
Grand Slam doubles performance timeline
|Australian Open||1R||1R||1R||2R||2R||0 / 5||2–5|
|French Open||1R||1R||1R||2R||2R||3R||0 / 6||4–6|
|Wimbledon||1R||1R||3R||3R||2R||0 / 5||5–5|
|US Open||1R||1R||1R||1R||1R||1R||0 / 6||0–6|
|Win–Loss||0–3||0–4||2–3||3–4||1–3||2–2||3–2||0–1||0 / 22||11–22|
- "Kaia Kanepi". Women's Tennis Association. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
- Kanepi Named Best Female Athlete in Estonia WTAtour.com, 16 December 2008
- Epplett, Nyree (27 May 2010). "Jankovic survives Parisian rain and Kanepi tempest". French Open. Retrieved 29 June 2010.[dead link]
- Baker, Ian (22 June 2010). "Seed Stosur surprised in first round upset". The Championships, Wimbledon. Retrieved 29 June 2010.[dead link]
- Goodall, Lee (28 June 2010). "Kanepi on a roll as fairytale continues". The Championships, Wimbledon. Retrieved 29 June 2010.[dead link]
- Tammik, Ott (4 January 2012). "Kanepi Moves to Quarterfinals in Brisbane". Estonian Public Broadcasting. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- Tammik, Ott (5 January 2012). "Kanepi Overcomes Petkovic, Heads to Semifinals". Estonian Public Broadcasting. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- Tammik, Ott (6 January 2012). "Kanepi Blasts Into Brisbane Finals". Estonian Public Broadcasting. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- Tammik, Ott (7 January 2012). "Kanepi Triumphant at Brisbane International". Estonian Public Broadcasting. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- Rikken, Kristopher (19 January 2012). "Kanepi Upset in Second Round of Australian Open". Estonian Public Broadcasting. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- Roman, Steve (20 January 2012). "Kanepi Passes on Fed Cup". Estonian Public Broadcasting. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- Roman, Steve (7 February 2012). "Ailing Kanepi Bows Out of Paris Tournament". Estonian Public Broadcasting. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- Tammik, Ott (15 February 2012). "Injured Kanepi Cancels Third Tournament". Estonian Public Broadcasting. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- Tammik, Ott (29 March 2012). "Kanepi Splits Up With Coach Over Psychologist". Estonian Public Broadcasting. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- Teesalu, Ingrid (7 May 2012). "Kanepi Climbs 8 Spots in WTA Rankings". Estonian Public Broadcasting. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- Buddell, James (5 May 2012). "Kanepi saves two championship points to beat Suarez Navarro for Estoril Open title". Estoril Open. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- "French Open: Maria Sharapova beats Kanepi to reach semis". BBC Sport. 6 June 2012. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- "Kaia will skip Wimbledon Championships this year". kaiakanepi.com. 13 June 2012. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- Tammik, Ott (13 June 2012). "Kanepi to Skip Wimbledon Due to Heel Pain". Estonian Public Broadcasting. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- "Kaia has to withdraw from 2012 London Olympic Games". kaiakanepi.com. 18 July 2012. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- Roman, Steve (18 July 2012). "Kanepi Pulls Out of Olympics". Estonian Public Broadcasting. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- "Treener ja sponsorid lõpetasid koostöö Kanepiga". Estonian Public Broadcasting (in Estonian). 1 February 2010. Retrieved 6 February 2010.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Kaia Kanepi.|
- Official website
- Kaia Kanepi at the Women's Tennis Association
- Kaia Kanepi at the International Tennis Federation
- Kaia Kanepi at the Fed Cup
|Estonian Sportswoman of the Year