World No 2 Anett Kontaveit from Estonia posted on her website that she has hired Torben Beltz as her new coach, after having split with Dmitry Tursunov following the French Open, while Beltz parted ways with Emma Raducanu in late April.
Beltz is one of the most highly respected coaches on the WTA Tour, having guided Angelique Kerber to Grand Slam victories and the top ranking.
Kontaveit, 26, has not played in any grass court tournaments as she is still recovering from a bout of COVID but she is expected to be fit enough to compete at Wimbledon in a week’s time where she should be accompanied by Beltz.
The Estonian pulled out of both Berlin and Eastbourne, saying: “I still need to recover and take care of my health after my infection to Covid recently. I didn’t feel good on court lately so I prefer not to take any risk and come back when I will be at 100 per cent.”
Last summer, Kontaveit hired Tursunov as her coach and the partnership was an instant success as Kontaveit won 4 titles over the rest of the 2021 season as well as at St Petersburg in February.
With Tursunov as her coach, Kontaveit broke into the top-10 for the first time and made her WTA Finals debut but the Russian was unable to travel freely to tournaments and they decided to part ways.
“I’d like to announce that Anett and I will not continue the partnership,” Tursunov posted on social media. “I would like to thank Anett for the opportunity, congratulate on a career-high ranking and wish her best of luck onward.
“Feel proud of the work I put in and [I’m] a bit sad but sometimes good things must come to an end.
“Thank you once again and best of luck.”
26-year-old Kontaveit explained that the current situation had become too convoluted.
“I want to thank him for a very successful and strong cooperation, I am very grateful to him,” Kontaveit told Estonian outlet ERR, adding that the current international situation contributed to the shock decision.
“The reason is that, since he has a Russian passport, it is very difficult for him to get visas at the moment, meaning he can’t accompany me to many tournaments.
“I still feel I need a coach who can accompany me, and who does not have so many practical issues,” she added. “There was a lack of such security, given the situation.
“He could not come to America with me in March, and now he had a visa problem in relation to England. The visa process was very complicated for him.”