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Makarova Makes Second Straight Tour Final

Ekaterina Makarova defeated Anna-Lena Groenefeld in straight sets Friday to advance to the final of the Estoril Open.

Published May 08, 2009 12:00

Makarova Makes Second Straight Tour Final
Ekaterina Makarova

ESTORIL, Portugal - Ekaterina Makarova, who had never been to a Sony Ericsson WTA Tour singles final before last week, advanced to her second straight with a 63 61 defeat of eighth-seeded Anna-Lena Groenefeld Friday a day after upending second-seeded Maria Kirilenko.

"I played pretty well today," the sixth-seeded Russian said. "She is a good player but I played my best tennis, just being aggressive. I'm so happy to make my second final in two weeks. When I came here I was a little bit tired so I didn't think I could make the same result. I just played every point and every match and I've come through."

Makarova lost to Anabel Medina Garrigues in the final of Fès last week. She'll go up against another player seeking her first Tour singles title in Saturday's final - unseeded Belgian Yanina Wickmayer.

Wickmayer was up, 3-0, on seventh-seeded Shahar Peer in Friday's other semifinal, when Peer retired with a right foot injury. The Israeli first suffered the injury during her quarterfinal victory over Jarmila Groth on Thursday, and it caused her to withdraw from the doubles event before her quarterfinal match alongside partner Yan Zi.

"From the beginning of the week I had pain in my right foot and managed to finish my three singles matches and a doubles - I don't know how, actually - but yesterday at the end of the match, during the third set, I did something even worse to my foot," Peer said. "I tried to recover as much as I could, but I had to play very early this morning. I can't really walk on my foot that much unfortunately. It's the first time in my life I've had to retire from a match. It just needs rest and it will recover, but I kept playing on it because I wanted to keep playing this tournament, but I guess it was too much for today."

Wickmayer, who lost to Kateryna Bondarenko in Birmingham last year in her only previous Tour singles final, was disappointed she didn't get to finish the match, but is happy with her game.

"Of course I'd prefer to win by playing the whole match," Wickmayer said. "I was playing well until 3-0. I had a little practice after the match. Even though I didn't play the whole match, the games I did play were really strong and I feel ready for tomorrow."

Wickmayer, who also upended No.5 seed Petra Kvitova and No.3 seed Sorana Cirstea this week, expects a strong challenge from Makarova, in what will be the first match between the two.

"Makarova had a great week in Fès last week, too," Wickmayer said. "She has beaten some good players during both weeks, so for sure she is playing well. She's had a lot of matches on clay and so have I, so I think it's going to be a good match. I've never played her before, so we'll see what happens tomorrow. It's going to be the one who is the fittest on the court and who has the best start tomorrow who will win, I think."

Also Friday, third-seeded Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears and unseeded Sharon Fichman and Katalin Marosi both were victorious in match tie-breaks to set up a showdown in the doubles final.

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