Although injury may have cut her career short, Anett Kontaveit still got to say goodbye to tennis on her own terms after enjoying a dream farewell in Tallinn, Estonia over the weekend.

The former world No. 2 put on a show in front of her home crowd with a sold-out exhibition match, featuring good friend Ons Jabeur, at the Tondiraba Ice Hall.

"The fact that I could say goodbye to the home crowd was one of my biggest wishes,” Kontaveit said afterward, according to Delfi Sport. “I'm just so glad we were able to pull off such an awesome event…

“I think that when I look back on it later, I will be very happy about it.”


Jabeur spared her friend no mercy, and ultimately won 6-4, 4-6, [10-7] in a match that was officiated by Kader Nouni, a WTA chair umpire. Afterward, Kontaveit received a standing ovation from the crowd, and took a moment to address fans and media.

Kontaveit told press that she has been staying fit in preparation for her farewell—she also recently took part in the Luxembourg Ladies Open, alongside the likes of Kim Clijsters and Andrea Petkovic—but still struggles with low back pain caused by lumbar disc degeneration. She confirmed that she needed a painkiller to make it through the match, and revealed the pain had begun to affect her day to day life.

It led her to make the tough decision to hang up her tennis racquets at 27, revealing the news in June before playing her final professional event at Wimbledon a few weeks later.

Ons Jabeur (right) defeated good friend Anett Kontaveit in the Estonian's farewell exhibition match.

Ons Jabeur (right) defeated good friend Anett Kontaveit in the Estonian's farewell exhibition match. 


“Today I am announcing that I am ending my career as a competitive athlete,” she wrote on Instagram. “After several doctor’s visits and consultations with my medical team, I have been advised that I have lumbar disc degeneration in my back.

“This does not allow for full-scale training or continued competition. Therefore, it is impossible to continue at the top level in such a highly competitive field.”

Kontaveit put her country on the tennis map, and retired with six WTA titles to her name and a career-high ranking of world No. 2 in 2022, making her the highest-ranked Estonian player ever.