Anett Kontaveit’s meteoric rise up the WTA rankings has made her both a national sporting hero and an obvious pick to help promote Rally Estonia, the country’s premier motorsport event part of the World Rally Championship calendar.

Kontaveit suited up to co-drive with 2019 World Rally champion Ott Tänak for the shakedown stage of the 2022 Rally Estonia.


“I’m a little bit scared but also really excited,” Kontaveit said before the ride. “I think it’s going to be a very unique experience.

“I’ve known Ott for a very long time; we go through the same fitness training, so I’ve cheered him on when he won the Championship and I always want him to do well. They wanted me to sit next to him for a while but I’ve always chickened out. I’m pretty nervous, I’m not gonna lie! I hope I don’t scream too loud!”

The WTA world No. 2 shouted out Tänak after the drive on Instagram.

“Thank you @otttanak for sparing my life and for this super cool experience that I am going to remember for a loooong time,” she wrote.


To complete the athletic exchange, the Estonian got 2019 WRC-2 Champion Pierre-Louis Loubet on court for a more familiar type of rally—partnering with Visit Estonia to take Loubet onto the tennis court.

Kontaveit has endured a difficult spring on tour: compounded by the residual effects of COVID-19, she suffered first and second-round exits at Roland Garros and Wimbledon, and parted ways with longtime coach Dmitry Tursunov. Now working with Torben Beltz, the 26-year-old will be keen to use an unforgettable weekend at home to fuel her fire in her own race towards the US Open this summer.

She is back in action this week on clay at the Hamburg European Open.