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Anett Kontaveit opens up on back injury to Estonian media
The former world No. 2 hasn't played since retiring against Shelby Rogers in the second round of Abu Dhabi.
Published Mar 12, 2023
FLASHBACK: Anett Kontaveit was forced to retire in the third set of her match against Shelby Rogers last month in Abu Dhabi.
Fans of Anett Kontaveit got an injury update from the sidelined Estonian this week, but it might not be one that they hoped to hear.
Speaking to the Baltic news outlet Delfi, as reported by ERR News in English, Kontaveit revealed that she is currently dealing with a back injury that could have long-term chronic prospects for her tennis career.
"My injury, speaking specifically, concerns degenerative changes in the lumbar discs in the spine, and irritation due to past injury to the left thigh," the 27-year-old said. "I am treating it with special exercises and physiotherapy, and I am being helped by [physiotherapists] Toms Zvonkovs and Lauri Ott."
The former world No. 2 hasn't played in more than a month, when she retired in the second round of the WTA 500 in Abu Dhabi against Shelby Rogers. In an Instagram post at the time, Kontaveit said she'd been "feeling \[her\] back in most matches" she played since October.
"I have been trying to help myself and get treatment and work out as much as possible," she wrote, "but for some reason this thing has been coming back every time I play competitively."
In her latest interview, Kontaveit said that she "likely won't ever be free of" the injury, but hopes to continue managing it well enough to play pain-free. She said she hopes to be back in action next month for Billie Jean King Cup competition, when Estonia competes in Oeiras, Portugal alongside 11 other nations in the Europe/Africa Group II.
Ranked solidly in the Top 10 at this time last year, Kontaveit is down to No. 61 in the WTA rankings this week. But this news is the latest in multiple injury-related setbacks for the talented ballstriker over the last year, as she also struggled with the effects of COVID-19 last spring and summer.