Anett Kontaveit can't explain it. The 26-year-old Estonian extended her streak of 20 consecutive indoor wins en route to the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy on Sunday. Kontaveit rallied to defeat top seed Maria Sakkari 5-7, 7-6, 7-5 in the final.
"Yeah, I'm not sure what to say about that," she told WTA Insider after the match. "I like to hit the ball. Indoors there's no wind, there's no sun, there's nothing that's affecting you. But I think that would also help everyone else.
"So I don't know. I don't know what it is. I can't really put my finger on it."
Kontaveit has now won the past four indoor tournaments she's played dating back to Ostrava last fall. She became only the sixth woman since 1990 to win 20 or more consecutive WTA matches on indoor courts.
The secret to her success? Maybe it's the years of playing on indoor courts when temperatures dropped in Estonia. Maybe the sterile conditions help her hit a bigger and cleaner ball.
Or maybe the answer is far simpler: Kontaveit has been near unbeatable for the past six months, a span in which she has won five of her six career titles and 38 of her past 44 matches.
Kontaveit joined the WTA Insider Podcast after her St. Petersburg win to discuss the keys to her week and how an early loss at the Australian Open might have been a blessing in disguise.
WTA Insider: On court you said you were still a bit speechless after that comeback win. How were you able to come back from a break down in both the second and third sets?
Kontaveit: It was such a tough battle. I was behind in the score so many times that I couldn't quite believe that I managed to pull that off. Really just so proud of myself with the way I managed to stick in the match and just keep fighting and just feel like I never, never gave up. Just so happy with the way I managed to put up a really good fight and eventually just keep calm and get through it.
WTA Insider: You've now won 20 consecutive indoor matches. You mentioned earlier this week that maybe your experience of playing on indoor courts in Estonia might attribute to this. Is there something different for you when you play indoors?
Kontaveit: No, honestly. I mean, before last year, I didn't think that I like playing on indoor courts that much. So it's just sort of something that's happened. Before this week, I also didn't know about the stats that much. I'm not sure if there's something specific about those indoor courts that go well with my game so much or if it's just a coincidence.
Anett Kontaveit’s road to the St. Petersburg title, her 6th career title and 1st of the season.— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) February 13, 2022
d. Teichmann 63 16 63
d. Cirstea 64 7 5
d.  Bencic 76 62
d.  Ostapenko 63 64
d.  Sakkari 57 76 75 pic.twitter.com/lpdESKy46o
WTA Insider: What are you most proud about with this title run?
Kontaveit: I'm very happy to be able to continue this form last year to this year and keep a consistently high level. I think that's the thing that I'm most proud of because I think I think every time a new year starts, you sort of have these doubts and you're not so sure how the year is going to go. But I'm really happy that I've been able to play good tennis and also have positive results this year.
WTA Insider: You started the season so well with that run to the semifinals in Sydney and an incredible match against Barbora Krejcikova there. Then you lost in the second round at the Australian Open. Given your expectations, how difficult was that loss and what was your mindset coming out of Melbourne?
Kontaveit: It was definitely a tough one to take. Of course I was expecting so much more from myself and from this Australian Open.
But I think that's why tennis is such a great sport. I came back home and I worked really, really hard. I think a bit of the pre-season training that I couldn't do because of the season being so long and having health issues, I think managed to do a really good training block and get myself in a little bit better shape.
I think tennis is great because we get a new chance almost every week. So if some things don't go your way one week, you get another chance next week to do better to try a little bit harder.
WTA Insider: What was your focus during this training block?
Kontaveit: It was just pretty intense training and just trying to get my fitness level higher and just to improve in a lot of areas and worked on court with Dmitry in Estonia. Did a lot of fitness as well.
So it was just overall, playing a lot of tennis, hitting a lot of balls, and doing fitness. Just getting your body ready because I think the year ahead is super long. It was a good little training block to have to get my body in better and even more ready.
WTA Insider: Dmitry wasn't with you this week but he was coaching you on the phone. Can you talk about what those calls are like when he has to coach you remotely?
Kontaveit: We analyze the matches and he gives tactical advice and also about how I have to approach the match. I think when you're playing the match you don't think about how to hit a forehand or how to hit a backhand. It's just very important that you're mentally ready to play the game and just ready to fight for everything. That's sort of the point that he's trying to get through, by the phone or if he's here in person
WTA Insider: You join your good friend Daria Kasatkina as the only two players to have won both Moscow and St. Petersburg. It's a very cool accomplishment.
Kontaveit: Very happy. The tournaments, both Moscow and here, are incredibly well organized. Even when we walk on the court, there's a show, there's so much effort put into these tournaments and we're treated incredibly nice. Dasha's from here, so for her, it's a fantastic stat to have. And I'm also very happy to have been able to win both those tournaments. I think it's a great achievement.
WTA Insider: This was your first time playing St. Petersburg. By all accounts, it sounds like you had a blast.
Kontaveit: Oh, I absolutely did. It's my first time and definitely not going to be my last time. I was actually so upset that I couldn't do any sightseeing because I didn't have the time. But I am coming back here for tennis or not for tennis, I'm not sure, but I'm hopefully coming back here. The city is so beautiful. There are so many things to do. There's so much culture here and I'm really looking forward to exploring it. I don't know if I'll be able to next time I come here for tennis, but I'll definitely come back as a tourist one day.
WTA Insider: How do you plan to celebrate the win?
Kontaveit: I genuinely haven't thought about it. I'm not going to be able to go to Dubai because I think my body needs a few days to recover from this. This was an intense final. I think I'll have a few days where I have to catch up with schoolwork and maybe get to see my friends and family. There's no massive plan right now, but I think I'll be very happy to be able to go home and see everyone.