Kanepi at the 2015 Mutua Madrid Open
|Born||10 June 1985|
|Height||1.81 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|Plays||Right-handed (two-handed backhand)|
|Career record||474–277 (63.12%)|
|Career titles||4 WTA, 14 ITF|
|Highest ranking||No. 15 (20 August 2012)|
|Current ranking||No. 58 (17 September 2018)|
|Grand Slam Singles results|
|Australian Open||3R (2009, 2018)|
|French Open||QF (2008, 2012)|
|Wimbledon||QF (2010, 2013)|
|US Open||QF (2010, 2017)|
|Olympic Games||3R (2008)|
|Career titles||0 WTA, 2 ITF|
|Highest ranking||No. 106 (6 June 2011)|
|Current ranking||No. 320 (17 September 2018)|
|Grand Slam Doubles results|
|Australian Open||2R (2011, 2012, 2014)|
|French Open||3R (2012, 2014)|
|Wimbledon||3R (2008, 2009)|
|US Open||1R (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013)|
|Other doubles tournaments|
|Olympic Games||1R (2004, 2008)|
|Last updated on: 17 September 2018.|
Kaia Kanepi (Estonian pronunciation: [ˈkɑi.ɑ ˈkɑnepi]; born 10 June 1985) is an Estonian professional tennis player. She achieved her career-high ranking of world No. 15 on August 20, 2012 and has won four singles titles on the WTA tour.
Kanepi reached her first final in 2006, becoming the first Estonian player to do so, at the Gaz de France Stars where she lost to Kim Clijsters. She then won her first singles title in Palermo in 2010, also becoming the first Estonian player to win a title. She has also reached six Grand Slam quarterfinals in three different Grand Slams (French Open in 2008 and 2012, Wimbledon in 2010 and 2013, and the US Open in 2010 and 2017), becoming the first Estonian to achieve this and was the first Estonian to be ranked inside the world's Top 20. Kanepi's numerous achievements have made her Estonia's most famous and successful professional tennis player in history.
- 1 Career
- 2 Playing style
- 3 Sponsorship
- 4 WTA finals
- 5 ITF finals
- 6 Performance timelines
- 7 Wins over top 10 players
- 8 References
- 9 External links
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.
1994–2003 Kaia was trained by Tiit Kivistik. From 2003 until the autumn of 2007, Kaia was coached by Andrei Luzgin. After Luzgin, Fredrik Lovén 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, who was her coach until March 2012. From 2013–2014 she was coached by Märten Tamla.
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 three 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.
2008: French Open Quarterfinal
After losing in the first round of Australian Open, Kanepi performed better in the next Grand Slam. At the French Open, Kanepi defeated sixth seed Anna Chakvetadze in the second round. 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 fourth seed Svetlana Kuznetsova in straight sets. Nonetheless, Kanepi made history by becoming the first Estonian tennis player to reach a Grand Slam quarterfinal.
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.
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.
At the top-level Dubai Tennis Championships, 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 then 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 was then scheduled to play at the 2009 Aegon Classic in Birmingham as the second seed. However, she then withdrew because of a knee injury. Kanepi was seeded 25th at the 2009 Wimbledon Championships, but lost to Carla Suárez Navarro in the first round.
Kanepi lost her opening matches at Bastad and Portoroz. Her bad form continued when she lost 3 straight 1st round matches during the US Open Series. She fell in the first round of the 2009 US Open to qualifier Chang Kai-chen in three sets.
Kanepi lost to Chang again in the first round at Tokyo. She suffered a first round loss at the 2009 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 at an ITF tournament Dubai in December, where she defeated Yuliana Fedak in straight sets in the first round. She then lost to Regina Kulikova.
2010: Wimbledon and US Open Quarterfinals
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 2010 Internazionali Femminili di Palermo, Kanepi won her first WTA singles title. She defeated top seed Flavia Pennetta for the title. 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. Her final tournament of the year was the 2010 China Open. She defeated 16th seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the first round but lost to Kvitová in the second round.
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 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. She lost in the third round to 23rd seed Yanina Wickmayer. At the 2011 Sony Ericsson Open, she was the 14th seed but lost to Virginie Razzano in her opening match after having a first round bye.
She lost her opening matches at the 2011 Mutua Madrid Open and 2011 Internazionali BNL d'Italia to Julia Görges and Romina Oprandi respectively. She qualified for the 2011 Brussels Open but was defeated by Yanina Wickmayer in the first round. 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.
Kanepi had a poor grass court season. She lost all her opening round matches at Birmingham to qualifier Arina Rodionova after having a first round bye, at Eastbourne to 4th seed Francesca Schiavone and at Wimbledon to Sara Errani. She consequently fell out of the Top 30.
Kanepi lost in the second round at the 2011 US Open to qualifier Sílvia Soler Espinosa. She had good results during the Asian swing. At the Toray Pan Pacific Open, Kanepi beat world number one Caroline Wozniacki in the third round to reach the quarterfinals, where she lost to Agnieszka Radwańska. At the China Open, she met Wozniacki in the 3rd round again but lost this time. Kanepi reached the final at the Moscow, losing to Dominika Cibulkova in three sets. She also reached the semifinals of an ITF event in Helsinki.
2012: 2nd French Open Quarterfinal
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, her second WTA title. 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 Sílvia 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 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 2012 Estoril Open, defeating Carla Suárez Navarro in the final.
Before the French Open, Kanepi reached the semifinals at the 2012 Brussels Open, she lost to Agnieszka Radwańska. At Roland Garros, Kanepi entered as the 23rd seed and played a very good tournament given her ranking, defeating ninth 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.
Kanepi returned from injury at the 2012 KDB Korea Open, she reached her third final of the year. This time she faced Caroline Wozniacki and lost in straight sets. At the 2012 Toray Pan Pacific Open, she lost in second round to Jamie Hampton.
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Her continuing Achilles tendon bilateral 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, this time to Mandy Minella. Kanepi failed to defend her title at Estoril when she lost to Carla Suárez Navarro in the semifinals.
She reached the quarterfinals at the 2013 Mutua Madrid Open where she lost to eventual finalist Maria Sharapova. Kanepi reached the final at the 2013 Brussels Open and defeated Peng Shuai for her 4th WTA title. She exited the 2013 French Open in the second round, losing to Swiss Stefanie Vögele in a tight three-setter. 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 then lost to Lucie Šafářová in the second round at the Beijing. At the 2013 Kremlin Cup, she fell to Samantha Stosur in the first round. She ended 2013 with a loss to Jovana Jakšić of Serbia in the second round of an ITF tournament in Egypt.
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Kanepi started 2014 by reaching the quarterfinals in Brisbane, where she was defeated by Maria Sharapova. In Sydney, she lost in the second round to Angelique Kerber. At the Australian Open, she was the 23rd seed but was defeated in the first round by Spain's Garbiñe Muguruza.
Kanepi defeated Varvara Lepchenko in the first round at Doha but fell to seventh seed and eventual champion Simona Halep in the next round. She then lost in the first round of the 2014 Dubai Tennis Championships to Flavia Pennetta. Kanepi reached the quarterfinals at Acapulco, she then lost to Christina McHale. Kanepi received a first round bye at the 2014 BNP Paribas Open, but lost to Yaroslava Shvedova in her opening match. She reached the third round at Miami, losing to 15th seed Carla Suárez Navarro in straight sets. At the 2014 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, she defeated lucky loser Johanna Konta in the first round but lost to Sara Errani in round two.
At the 2014 Portugal Open, she defeated Yvonne Meusburger in her opening match. She then lost to Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu. In Madrid, she lost in the first round to Alison Riske. She fell out of the top 30 after this tournament. Kanepi lost to Monica Niculescu in the first round at Roland Garros. She fell to Yvonne Meusburger in the first round at the 2014 Topshelf Open. At Wimbledon, she faced 7th seed Jelena Janković in the first round and won in straight sets but then lost to Yaroslava Shvedova in the following round. After failing to defend quarterfinal points, she fell out of the top 50. Kanepi then won her ninth ITF title in Biarritz, defeating Teliana Pereira in the final.
Kanepi defeated Johanna Larsson in the first round at the 2014 Swedish Open. She then reached her third quarterfinal of 2014 with a victory over Richèl Hogenkamp. Despite being the favourite, Kanepi lost to Mona Barthel in straight sets. She fell in qualifying for the 2014 Connecticut Open. At the US Open, Kanepi defeated Pauline Parmentier in the first round before narrowly defeating Samantha Stosur to face Spaniard Carla Suárez Navarro. Kanepi upset her in straight sets and set up a clash with world no.1 Serena Williams in the round of 16. She lost in straight sets.
Kanepi began her 2015 year at the 2015 Brisbane International. In the 1st round, she upset 5th seed Andrea Petkovic 6–4, 5–7, 6–4. In the 2nd round, she defeated qualifier Madison Brengle 6–3, 7–6(3). In the quarterfinals, Kanepi lost to 2nd seed and eventual finalist Ana Ivanovic 4–6, 6–4, 6–3. After Brisbane, Kanepi competed at the 2015 Hobart International. She defeated Monica Puig in her 1st round match 6–4, 6–1. Kanepi then withdrew from her 2nd round match against Camila Giorgi due to a viral illness. Ranked 48 at the 2015 Australian Open, Kanepi lost in the 1st round to wildcard Irina Falconi 2–6, 6–4, 7–5.
After the Australian Open, Kanepi competed at the 2015 Dubai Tennis Championships. In the 1st round, Kanepi faced Svetlana Kuznetsova. Kuznetsova led 4–1 in the 1st set before Kanepi retired due to a back injury. Ranked 51 at the 2015 BNP Paribas Open, Kanepi lost in the 1st round to qualifier Ons Jabeur 7–5, 6–2. Kanepi had a better result at the 2015 Miami Open. She had her 1st win since Hobart by defeating wildcard Françoise Abanda in the 1st round 6–2, 6–3. In the 2nd round, she beat 28th seed Varvara Lepchenko 6–2, 6–4. In the 3rd round, Kanepi took 4th seed Caroline Wozniacki to 3 sets, but Kanepi still lost 4–6, 6–1, 6–3. After Miami, Kanepi competed at the 2015 Katowice Open. Seeded 5th, she defeated qualifier Shahar Pe'er in the 1st round 6–1, 6–2. Lucky Loser Elizaveta Kulichkova defeated Kanepi in the 2nd round 6–1, 6–2.
Kanepi started her clay court season at the 2015 Grand Prix SAR La Princesse Lalla Meryem where she lost in the 1st round to qualifier Teliana Pereira 6–3, 6–2. At the 2015 Mutua Madrid Open, Kanepi beat Madison Keys in the 1st round 6–4, 6–3. In the 2nd round, she lost to Samantha Stosur 6–3, 6–2. At the 2015 French Open, Kanepi lost in the 1st round to 2nd seed, former World Number 1, and Defending Champion Maria Sharapova 6–2, 6–4. After the French Open, Kanepi played the 100K tournament in Marseille. She lost in the 1st round to Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6–3, 5–7, 6–2.
Kanepi played only one tournament during the US Open Series which was the 2015 Connecticut Open. She lost in the 2nd round of qualifying to 6th seed Magdaléna Rybáriková 6–4, 1–6, 6–2. At the 2015 US Open, Kanepi won her 1st Grand Slam match of the year by beating Anna-Lena Friedsam in the 1st round 6–1, 6–1. Kanepi then lost in the 2nd round to 17th seed Elina Svitolina 6–3, 6–4.
At the 100K tournament in Biarritz, Kanepi was defeated in the 1st round by Amra Sadiković 4–6, 6–3, 7–6(4). At the 50,000+H tournament in Saint-Malo, Kanepi lost in the quarterfinals to Daria Kasatkina 2–6, 6–1, 6–1. Kanepi then played qualifying at the 2015 Generali Ladies Linz. She lost in the final round of qualifying to 7th seed Aleksandra Krunić 6–3, 6–2. Kanepi's final tournament of the year was the 2015 Kremlin Cup where she was the 8th seed for qualifying. Kanepi ended up losing in the 1st round of qualifying to Paula Kania 1–6, 7–6(4), 6–3.
Kanepi ended 2015 ranked 122.
Kanepi began the 2016 year by playing qualifying at the 2016 Brisbane International. In the 1st round of qualifying, she beat Virginie Razzano 6–4, 6–7(4), 6–1. In the 2nd round of qualifying, she faced 4th seed Kateryna Bondarenko. Bondarenko led 7–5, 2–2 before Kanepi retired.
After Kanepi failed to win at least a match in this season, she searched for better luck in the ITF Women's Circuit. Her best result there was reaching the quarterfinals in Padova, Italy in June 2016, followed by a longer break due to an injury.
2017: Second US Open quarterfinal
Kanepi returned from long injury break in June 2017 (having dropped to 630 in WTA rank), she tried herself in the ITF Circuit, winning 2 ITF titles in Essen, Germany, and Pärnu, Estonia. She then got into the qualification rounds of the Wimbledon Championships, but lost in the second round to Arina Rodionova. Unable to obtain a wild card or protected ranking for the main draw, the Estonian (then ranked No. 421 in the world) received a protected ranking to play in the qualifying for the US Open. She qualified to her first Grand Slam main draw in two years with victories over Nina Stojanović, Louisa Chirico and Hsieh Su-wei. Kanepi recorded victories in her first three main draw matches, defeating Francesca Schiavone (despite being bageled in the opening set), Yanina Wickmayer and Naomi Osaka, reaching the second week at a major since the 2014 US Open. She then defeated Russia's Daria Kasatkina 6–4, 6–4 to advance to her second US Open quarterfinal, her sixth Grand Slam quarterfinal overall, and her first quarterfinal at a major since Wimbledon 2013, where she was defeated in straight sets by Madison Keys. Nonetheless, she made history by becoming only the second qualifier in US Open history to make the quarterfinals and the first to do so since Barbara Gerken in 1981. Following the US Open, Kanepi's ranking skyrocketed from 418 to 110. She managed to finish the year ranked just outside the top 100 (at no. 107), her best end-of-year ranking since 2014.
Kanepi reached the quarterfinals at the Brisbane International, beating Daria Kasatkina and Lesia Tsurenko along the way. This helped propel her back into the top 100 for the first time since August 2015. At the Australian Open, she upset 24th seed Dominika Cibulkova in the opening round. Kanepi followed that up with a straight sets victory over Monica Puig to advance to the third round of the Australian Open for the first time since 2009, losing in three sets to Carla Suárez Navarro. Despite losing her first-round match at the French Open to Kasatkina, Kanepi returned to the top 50 of the WTA rankings for the first time since May 2015.
She defeated Simona Halep 6–2, 6–4 in the first round of US Open 2018, becoming the first player in US Open history and just sixth in Grand Slam history to beat the top-seeded player in the first round. It was followed by wins over Jil Teichmann and Rebecca Peterson in straight sets, before Kanepi was defeated in the fourth round by Serena Williams 0–6, 6–4, 3–6.
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 away from her opponent but sometimes prefers to hit a powerful body first serve in order to push back and pin her opponent behind the baseline. But on occasions 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 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 generally ends 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.
For a long time Kanepi was sponsored by Infortar, the largest shareholder of Tallink, a major ferry company in the Baltic Sea. Their sponsorship ended in February 2010, but later started again and finally ended in 2017.
Singles: 8 (4 titles, 4 runners–up)
|Loss||0–1||Nov 2006||Gaz de France Stars, Belgium||Tier III||Hard (i)||Kim Clijsters||3–6, 6–3, 4–6|
|Loss||0–2||Oct 2008||Japan Open, Japan||Tier III||Hard||Caroline Wozniacki||2–6, 6–3, 1–6|
|Win||1–2||Jul 2010||Palermo International, Italy||International||Clay||Flavia Pennetta||6–4, 6–3|
|Loss||1–3||Oct 2011||Kremlin Cup, Russia||Premier||Hard (i)||Dominika Cibulková||6–3, 6–7(1–7), 5–7|
|Win||2–3||Jan 2012||Brisbane International, Australia||Premier||Hard||Daniela Hantuchová||6–2, 6–1|
|Win||3–3||May 2012||Portugal Open, Portugal||International||Clay||Carla Suárez Navarro||3–6, 7–6(8–6), 6–4|
|Loss||3–4||Sep 2012||Korea Open, South Korea||International||Hard||Caroline Wozniacki||1–6, 0–6|
|Win||4–4||May 2013||Brussels Open, Belgium||Premier||Clay||Peng Shuai||6–2, 7–5|
Doubles: 1 (0–1)
|Loss||0–1||Apr 2012||Danish Open, Denmark||International||Hard||Sofia Arvidsson|| Kimiko Date-Krumm
|2–6, 6–4, [5–10]|
Singles: 20 (14–6)
|Loss||0–1||Jul 1999||Tallinn, Estonia||10,000||Clay||Anna Zaporozhanova||3–6 3–6|
|Win||1–1||Jun 2000||Tallinn, Estonia||10,000||Clay||Margit Rüütel||6–1, 6–2|
|Win||2–1||Jun 2001||Tallinn, Estonia||25,000||Clay||Ľubomíra Kurhajcová||7–6(4) 6–3|
|Loss||2–2||Jul 2001||Modena, Italy||50,000||Clay||Maja Matevžič||5–7 6–7(5)|
|Loss||2–3||Jul 2001||Ettenheim, Germany||50,000||Clay||Maja Matevžič||2–6 3–6|
|Win||3–3||Jun 2003||Galatina, Italy||25,000||Clay||María José Martínez Sánchez||6–3 6–3|
|Win||4–3||Sep 2003||Torino, Italy||25,000||Clay||Mervana Jugić-Salkić||6–3 6–3|
|Loss||4–4||Oct 2003||Joué-lès-Tours, France||25,000||Hard (i)||Dally Randriantefy||5–7 4–6|
|Win||5–4||Feb 2004||Sunderland, United Kingdom||25,000||Hard (i)||Anna Chakvetadze||7–6(5) 6–0|
|Win||6–4||Jul 2005||Fano, Italy||75,000||Clay||Melinda Czink||3–6 6–1 7–5|
|Loss||6–5||Dec 2005||Dubai, United Arab Emirates||75,000+H||Clay||Marion Bartoli||2–6 0–6|
|Win||7–5||May 2010||Cagnes-sur-Mer, France||100,000+H||Clay||Maša Zec Peškirič||6–3 6–2|
|Win||8–5||May 2010||Saint-Gaudens, France||50,000+H||Clay||Zhang Shuai||6–2, 7–5|
|Loss||8–6||Jul 2014||Contrexeville, France||100,000||Clay||Irina-Camelia Begu||3–6 4–6|
|Win||9–6||Jul 2014||Biarritz, France||100,000||Clay||Teliana Pereira||6–2 6–4|
|Win||10–6||Dec 2015||Bangkok, Thailand||25,000||Hard||Patty Schnyder||6–3 6–3|
|Win||11–6||Jun 2017||Essen, Germany||25,000||Clay||Patty Schnyder||6–3, 6–7(5–7), 2–0 ret.|
|Win||12–6||Jul 2017||Pärnu, Estonia||15,000||Clay||Polina Golubovskaya||6–1, 6–0|
|Win||13–6||Nov 2017||Nantes, France||25,000||Hard (i)||Richèl Hogenkamp||6–3, 6–4|
|Win||14–6||Jun 2018||Brescia, Italy||60,000||Clay||Martina Trevisan||6–4, 6–3|
Doubles: 3 (2–1)
|Loss||0–1||Jun 2000||Tallinn, Estonia||10,000||Clay||Scarlett Werner|| Agata Kurowska
|Win||1–1||Oct 2003||Jersey, United Kingdom||25,000||Hard (i)||Sofia Arvidsson|| Yvonne Meusburger
|Win||2–1||Jul 2007||Biella, Italy||100,000||Clay||Maret Ani|| Mervana Jugić-Salkić
Current through 2018 Wimbledon.
|Grand Slam tournaments|
|Australian Open||A||Q2||A||Q2||A||Q1||2R||1R||3R||2R||2R||2R||A||1R||1R||A||A||3R||0 / 9||8–9||47%|
|French Open||A||A||A||Q2||A||2R||1R||QF||1R||2R||3R||QF||2R||1R||1R||Q2||A||1R||0 / 11||13–11||54%|
|Wimbledon||A||A||A||A||A||1R||2R||1R||1R||QF||1R||A||QF||2R||1R||A||Q2||1R||0 / 10||10–10||50%|
|US Open||A||Q1||Q2||A||Q2||3R||1R||2R||1R||QF||2R||A||3R||4R||2R||A||QF||4R||0 / 11||21–11||64%|
|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||4–4||1–4||0–0||4–1||5–4||0 / 41||52–41||56%|
|Summer Olympics||Not Held||1R||Not Held||3R||Not Held||A||Not Held||A||Not Held||0 / 2||2–2||50%|
|WTA Premier Mandatory tournaments|
|Indian Wells Open||A||A||A||A||A||1R||2R||2R||3R||1R||3R||2R||A||2R||1R||A||A||2R||0 / 10||5–10||33%|
|Miami Open||A||A||A||A||A||A||3R||4R||3R||1R||2R||2R||A||3R||3R||A||A||1R||0 / 9||9–9||50%|
|Madrid Open||Not Held||1R||A||1R||1R||QF||1R||2R||A||A||A||0 / 6||4–6||40%|
|China Open||Not Held||Not Tier I||1R||2R||3R||A||2R||1R||A||A||A||0 / 5||3–5||38%|
|WTA Premier 5 tournaments|
|Qatar / Dubai Opens||Not Tier I||A||SF||A||3R||A||A||2R||1R||A||A||A||0 / 4||7–4||64%|
|Italian Open||A||A||A||A||A||A||2R||1R||QF||A||1R||A||A||A||A||A||A||2R||0 / 5||5–5||50%|
|Canadian Open||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||1R||3R||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||0 / 2||2–2||50%|
|Cincinnati Open||Not Held||Not Tier I||1R||Q1||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||2R||0 / 2||1–2||33%|
|Pan Pacific / Wuhan Opens||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||QF||1R||QF||QF||2R||A||A||A||A||A||0 / 5||9–5||64%|
|Overall Win–Loss||0–1||2–3||0–0||0–1||3–2||14–16||13–17||30–21||15−21||30–18||18−17||25−9||21–10||17–19||8–11||0–1||4–2||9−11||4 / 184||209–180|
|Australian Open||A||1R||A||1R||1R||2R||2R||A||2R||A||A||A||A||0 / 6||3–6|
|French Open||1R||1R||1R||2R||A||2R||3R||A||3R||A||A||A||A||0 / 7||6–7|
|Wimbledon||1R||1R||3R||3R||2R||A||A||A||1R||A||A||A||2R||0 / 7||6–7|
|US Open||1R||1R||1R||1R||1R||A||A||1R||A||A||A||A||0 / 6||0–6|
|Win–Loss||0–3||0–4||2–3||3–4||1–3||2–2||3–2||0–1||3–3||0–0||0–0||0–0||1–1||0 / 26||15–26|
Wins over top 10 players
|1.||Anna Chakvetadze||No. 6||French Open, France||Clay||2nd Round||6–4, 7–6(7–2)|
|2.||Jelena Janković||No. 3||Dubai Tennis Championships, UAE||Hard||3rd Round||6–2, 7–5|
|3.||Jelena Janković||No. 6||Pan Pacific Open, Japan||Hard||3rd Round||6–4, 6–4|
|4.||Jelena Janković||No. 5||US Open, United States||Hard||3rd Round||6–2, 7–6(7–1)|
|5.||Samantha Stosur||No. 6||Wimbledon, United Kingdom||Grass||1st Round||6–4, 6–4|
|6.||Caroline Wozniacki||No. 1||Pan Pacific Open, Japan||Hard||3rd Round||7–5, 1–6, 6–4|
|7.||Caroline Wozniacki||No. 9||French Open, France||Clay||3rd Round||6–1, 6–7(3–7), 6–3|
|8.||Andrea Petkovic||No. 10||Brisbane International, Australia||Hard||Quarterfinals||6–1, 7–6(9–7)|
|9.||Angelique Kerber||No. 7||Wimbledon, United Kingdom||Grass||2nd Round||3–6, 7–6(8–6), 6–3|
|10.||Jelena Janković||No. 8||Wimbledon, United Kingdom||Grass||1st Round||6–3, 6–2|
|11.||Simona Halep||No. 1||US Open, United States||Hard||1st Round||6–2, 6–4|
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|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