Kaia will meet Dominika Cibulkova (SVK, WTA 16) in the first round match of Brussels Open. Kaia and Dominika have played three times before and Kaia is leading their head to head 2:1. All their previous matches have gone to the deciding set. Brussels Open starts on Monday, 20th of May. Kaia will play her opener on Tuesday.
Kaia will play against Anabel Medina Garrigues (ESP, WTA 61) in the first round of WTA International level tournament in Marrakech. Kaia leads their head-to-head 3:1, but their last meeting was in 2009. The main draw will start on Monday, Kaia will play her first match on Tuesday. Her mach is scheduled as the fourth match of the day at centre court. Matches start 11 am local time / 2 pm Estonian time.
Kaia's first round opponent at WTA International level tournament BNP Paribas Katowice Open will be local wild card Sandra Zaniewska (POL, WTA 196). Kaia and Sandra have not played before. The indoor clay tournament starts on Monday. Kaia's match will be played on Tuesday starting not before 20:00 (Estonian time)/ 19:00 local time.
Kaia’s six month long injury break will end in Poland next week as she plans to participate in the Katowice Open International level WTA tournament. Most probably the similar level tournaments in Marocco and Portugal will follow later in April.
Kaia’s own words: “I’m looking forward for competing again, I missed it a lot. There is always excitement while competing.
I do not set any goals. In practice everything is very well, but you cannot compare practice and competition – the tension is totally different. During competition it is clear in which form I am physically and mentally.
I know it will be very difficult. The break was very long and I cannot be sure if I will be able to give 100% or if I will subconsciously hold myself back.
There will be clay tournaments coming. Maybe it is good to start on clay as compared to hard courts the clay surface is a bit friendlier for legs. I like clay as I grew up playing at clay courts.
I will check after each match, how my legs are recovering. The most important thing for me is to play without any pain. I’m just very happy when I can compete again.”
Kaia answered today to the questions posted by her Facebook fans. See more here
Kaia started practicing tennis in the beginning of the year and shares information about her process:
“Currently I play tennis once a day and have physical training once a day as well. This week we will try to practice tennis twice a day and see how my legs are holding up.
My recovery has gone according to the plan and week by week my heels are getting better. As the time goes by, I can move more and more. In the beginning of January I was able to play tennis standing still, now I can run a lot more but still not cover the full court.
I will start competing when I am recovered and I have managed also to practice while being healthy. We will see when it happens. If I cannot start in March I will start in April on clay. I will not rush and go to the tournaments to see if I can play without pain, I want to be sure that I can.”
Kaia finishes the year at the 19th place in WTA rankings which is the highest place in her career and also in the Estonian tennis history. During this year, Kaia also managed to reach her highest WTA ranking place, which was 15th place in September.
In 2012 Kaia won two WTA events: Premier level tournament in Brisbane and International level event in Estoril. Kaia played in the final in the Seoul Open and in semi-finals in Brussels. The best grand slam result was from Roland Garros, where she reached to the quarterfinals. 2012 results
Kaia played in 11 tournaments and in total 35 matches: 25 wins and 9 losses. With this result Kaia is on the 6th position among top100 players. more here
In clay, Kaia was the 4th best player in 2012 winning 80% of her matches. more here
Kaia sums up the year in her own words: „It was very complicated season for me, at the same time it was the best season ever according to the results.The year started very well, I have never played so well during one whole week as I did in Brisbane. Although I managed to play in few tournaments, I mostly did very well. The win in Estoril was very special for me; it was the first tournament without a tennis coach and the final there was very difficult and emotional.
There is no world championship in professional tennis but we have four grand slam tournaments in one year and they can be called as world championships as well; because all the world’s top players are there. I am very glad that I managed to reach to the quarterfinal in one of the grand slams this year. The loss in the Roland Garros quarterfinal to Maria Sharapova taught me a lot“.
“I do not remember any other season where I had so much time off. Due to my injury of course. I think that my doctor Madis Rahu handled the situation with my heels very professionally and reasonably. He kept an eye on the situation and did not rush with the decisions. He offered me a choice to try to cure the injury with shots or to turn to dr Orava for surgery. One may ask afterwards that why did I not go to the surgery earlier? If something starts hurting, you do not think of the surgery as the first option. It was the last option for us. I am very lucky that I have a doctor like Madis is, I can turn to him anytime and he will help me.
Many people wonder that what I have been up to with the free time I have. Well, I have spent lots of time with my friends and also learned new things. For example I learned how to make scrambled eggs:)”
„This year my cooperation with my tennis coach Silver Karjus ended and after that I did not have a tennis coach. All the responsibility was on me and Kristjan. In the spring I played with good energy, I did not want to see any tennis coach. As the time went along I felt more and more that there must be someone who helps me with my tennis. Without a tennis coach, it is difficult to tune in for the matches. Although I did not have tennis coach, I tried to remember the things I have been told in the past. Tennis is a mind game, it is important to understand that when the match does not come to your way, there are still possibilities to bring a change to the game.
My fitness was very good this year as well, especially in spring. When you feel well and are well rested, then you feel well also mentally. I am very thankful for Kristjan Prüüs for my great physical shape. Kristjan also helps me with my diet. I am very glad that he is in my team; I have never doubted in his methodology, I have always trusted him. Kristjan has been travelling with me on tournaments as well and it has helped me a lot. With him I can be myself and he is very considerate of me.”
„I am very lucky that Tallink is my sponsor and our cooperation will go on in the next season as well. I am grateful and thankful that they believe in me and choose to sponsor me. I am especially thankful for the chairman Enn Pant, first because Tallink is my sponsor and also because Tallink is sponsoring Estonian tennis in broader terms as well. It is great that Enn likes tennis so much and we have such person in Estonia. Tennis in so popular in Estonia now that I have difficult times finding available courts to practice :)
„When I am abroad, people often ask me about Estonia. I am glad that I have such opportunity to introduce Estonia in the world. I do not feel the support of my Estonian fans in big extent when I’m on tour, I have no idea how many people watch my matches. As I have spent quite a lot of time in Estonia this year, I have also met with my fans. People in shops, streets, elevators have come up to me to wish me luck and ask about my health. It is very great that I actually have so many fans :)
I have mostly been in touch with my fans via my Facebook fan page. After a loss, I do not feel like going the website to read any comments, not all of them are positive. But in the same time it is great to know that many fans encourage me after I have lost. I would like to thank Viktor and Vadim for taking care of my Facebook site and are complete tennis fans.
I wish to all my current and future supporters and fans a merry Christmas and exiting experiences in the next year!"
|© Delfi.ee/ Tanel Meos|
Kaia was signing autographs for her fans in the Estonian Tennis Federation's press conference today in Viru Center. Kaia was also sharing information about her recovery. Kaia said that the recovery has so far been as expected. She is mainly doing physical training for upper body and is hoping to start practicing tennis in January. Most probably she will return to the wta circuit in February, but it is still open and depends on how the recovery goes.
The CEO of AS Tallink Grupp Mr. Enn Pant signed the sponsorship contracts to support Kaia in value of up to 125 000 Euros in 2013. Tallink has sponsored Kaia Kanepi from 2007. More about the sponsorship here
In the end of October dr Sakari Orava performed a surgery on Kaia’s heels.
Kaia’s own words: „I’m happy that the surgery was done. Both my heels were operated and it was the right decision. The surgery went well, it lasted about 40 minutes and it was done with lower-body anesthesia. I stayed in the hospital for the first night but now I’m back at home. I cannot move around very much. I read books, watch movies. After about two weeks I can start swimming and after four weeks also riding a bicycle. I can probably start playing tennis with full power in the end of January. But of course everything depends on how the recovery process goes.“
Kaia together with her team, including dr Madis Rahu, have decided to go under surgery in order to cure Kaia’s heel bones. The decision was taken after consulting with Finnish sport’s medicine surgeon dr Sakari Orava.
Dr Rahu explained that Kaia’s heels have been injured for quite some time now and the treatment in past three months did not make Kaia to fully recover. Dr Orava offered help and explained after examining Kaia’s heels that the permanent changes and the uniquness on her heel-bone do not let the full recovery to take place.
Dr Orava is the world famous surgeon who has performed over 20 000 surgeries. His patients have been also David Beckham, Haile Gebreselassie, Merlene Ottey, Boris Tadi, Ivo Karlovic, Didier Deschamps, Josep Guardiola etc.
Kaia’s own words: „I am happy to go under surgery, then I have hope, that the heels will get well. The surgery was the last option for us. As I have the uniqueness my heel-bones then it looks like the surgery is the best choice at the moment. I just want my heels to be well so I could play tennis. It is not clear yet, when I can play again, it will be more evident after the surgery. Right now we have discussed about three month break. There is nothing to do, there will also be the Brisbane tournament during that time and I’m not able to defend my title there next year.“
The surgery will take place in Finland, Neo hospital in October the 30th. The full recovery may take about three months.
Although Kaia qualified to the Tournament of Champions in Sofia, she was forced to withdraw due to heel injufy.
After Korea Open, Kaia felt some pain in her right heel and now is also forced to skip the WTA tournament in Moscow.
Kaia’s own words: „After tough practices my right heel still hurts. When I qualify for Sofia, of course I would like to play. But there is nothing certain. I just want my legs to be ok. I am doing physical trainings and get laser treatment form my heels twice a day. We’ll see how that works. Later this week I will go and show the pictures of my heels also to a specialist in Finland. Then we can make a decision here about the future treatment if needed.”
Kaia's first round opponent at WTA Premier level tournament China Open, will be Tamira Paszek (AUT, WTA 32). Kaia is leading their head-to-head by 1:0 but their match was held in 2009. The match is scheduled at centre court as the second match during night session. First night session match begins not before 19:30 local time / 14:30 estonian time.
After three months long injury break, Kaia will return to the circuit in Seul and meet local wild-card Sung-Hee Hang (KOR, WTA 260) in the first round of $500 000 WTA international event. Kaia and Han have not palyed beforea and the match will be held at centre court on Tuesday as the second match of the day. The matches start at 11 local time (5 am Estonian time).
As Kaia did not participate in Korea Open last year, she does not have any points to defend from this tournament. The first seed in Korea Open is Caroline Wozniacki (WTA 11).
Kaia has reached the new career high in WTA singles ranking today and is now in the 15th place. As Kaia has not played since Roland Garros one may wonder, how it is possible to move up in rankings without playing? WTA ranking contains points form the past 52 weeks from up to 16 tournaments. The place in the ranking depends on your own points and how well the others are doing in collecting and defending their points from past year. As Kaia had a injury break at the same time last year, she does not have points to defend from that period.
Kaia's own words: "It does not mean great deal for me if I move up or down couple of places. I have not played. When I reach top 10, then I will open a bottle of champagne."
Read more about how the ranking works from here
Kaia's 2514 points are collected from the tournaments listed below:
2011-08-29 US OPEN 100 points
2012-01-16 AUSTRALIAN OPEN 100 points
2012-05-27 FRENCH OPEN 500 points
2012-06-25 WIMBLEDON 0 points
Mandatory WTA tournaments:
2011-10-01 BEIJING 140 points
2012-03-07 INDIAN WELLS 5 points
2012-03-20 MIAMI 5 points
2012-05-05 MADRID 5 points
2011-09-05 BIELLA (ITF) 70 points
2011-09-25 TOKYO - PAN PACIFIC 225 points
2011-10-17 MOSCOW 320 points
2011-11-21 HELSINKI (ITF) 24 points
2012-01-01 BRISBANE 470 points
2012-04-09 COPENHAGEN 70 points
2012-04-30 ESTORIL 280 points
2012-05-21 BRUSSELS 200 points
The recovery has gone well and Kaia has started with tennis practices, still she has decided not to rush with the comeback.
Kaia's own words "We took the break in order to recover from the injury completely and it has gone very well. The pictures of the heels are better than ever. In past few days I have tried to practice with full power to find out how the heels would react to but there is still some little pain after the practice. I decided that in that shape there is no point to go and try to play in the US. I will start when I can play completely without pain"
Kaia's next tournament will most probably be in Seoul.
Kaia has answered to her Facebook Fan's questions. Read more from Kaia's fanpage
An ultrasound examination showed yesterday that Kaias heels have not recovered as fast as hoped and she has to withdraw from London Olympic Games. Dr. Madis Rahu said that increasing the practice intensity now, will eventually lead to even longer injury break.
Kaia's own words: "It is very sad that I cannot participate in the Olympics. I do not know if I will ever get another chance to participate in the Olympic Games. At the moment all I want is my legs to be ok and that I could play tennis without feeling any pain”
Kaia’s heels first started to hurt in this year’s spring in Estoril. After successful run at French Open, Kaia took an injury break hoping to be ready to play again in the London Olympic Games. Kaia future tournament schedule is not yet clear. She will have more analysis done in coming weeks and Kaia’s future plans will be set according to these results.
Kaia has previously represented Estonia in 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and in 2004 Athens Olympics. London's Olympic tennis tournament begins July 28.
Kaia has to take a break for at least four weeks in order to treat her heels. Sadly with this she will not be playing in Wimbledon. Kaia was talking about painful heels already after tournament in Estoril.
Kaia's own words: "We made some pictures of my heels and the situation is that I have to take a break from the tournaments for at least 4 weeks. This means that I have to skip Wimbledon this year. We will see how the treatment goes. I can still practice in some extent, with full practices I can start when the heels are cured."
Kaia is being looked after by doctor Madis Rahu and chiropractor Rainer Kägo.
About French Open: "I am very satisfied with what I accomplished in Paris. I think that the match with Maria taught me a lot, it showed in which level she is and what I have to do to to improve. I have never experienced such pace in the match before"
Kaia's tournament schedule will be set again after three-four weeks. Kaia definitely wishes to play at the London Olympics tennis tournament, which starts in the 28th of July.
|© Sergei Sinitsyn|
Kaia and Shuai Zhang lost today in the third round of doubles tournament to Jarmila Gajdosova - Anastasia Rodionova 4:6 5:7.
Kaia will continue in the fourth round in singles tomorrow.