Kontaveit pulled the plug on her playing career earlier this year when she revealed the heartbreaking news. She announced that Wimbledon would be her last professional tournament on the circuit.
At the age of 27, it was one of the most upsetting tennis retirements in recent memory, more so for a career so cruelly ended with a degenerative back injury that left Kontaveit wincing in pain in every movement.
Kontaveit wanted a proper sendoff despite having played her last pro match at Wimbledon in July. And there was no better place than home in front of a jam-packed stadium in Tallinn, her home city.
It was a fitting way to bow out and play an opponent of her choosing who is a trailblazer in her own right. Kontaveit played World No. 6 Ons Jabeur at the Tondiraba Ice Hall. Jabeur had hyped up that duel a few days ago, promising all sorts of trick shots on the menu.
And judging by the scoreline, the match certainly delivered from a spectacle standpoint. Kontvaiet clawed her way from 4-6, 2-4 down to force a 10-point third-set breaker.
However, the Tunisian won 6-4, 4-6, 10-7 in a match that was officiated by the chair umpire Kader Nouni. After the match, Kontaveit was given the stage to bid farewell one last time and thanked the sold-out crowd for turning up in a post-match ceremony as quoted by Estonian publication Eesti Rahvusringhääling (ERR).
"It is an honor to be here in front of such a large crowd and to compete against Ons, who is a terrific tennis player and a fantastic person, and to have Kader, one of my favorite referees, with us today.
"I am overjoyed that I was able to say goodbye to everyone on the tennis court once again. I feel like I've done something really right in my life since I've been able to bring such an audience here."
Kontvaeit officially retires having peaked at a career-high ranking of No. 2 last summer - the highest distinction by an Estonian player in rankings history on both tours. In 17 career finals, she won six titles. Her best Grand Slam result was a quarterfinal she reached at the 2020 Australian Open.