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Makarova Meets Pliskova In Pattaya Final

Ekaterina Makarova overcame a disastrous second set to defeat Andrea Hlavackova and move into the final of the PTT Pattaya Open.

Published February 01, 2014 12:13

Makarova Meets Pliskova In Pattaya Final
Ekaterina Makarova

PATTAYA CITY, Thailand - No.4 seed Ekaterina Makarova defeated Andrea Hlavackova over three topsy-turvy sets at the PTT Pattaya Open on Saturday to move within touching distance of a second career title.

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It is three and a half years since Makarova picked up her only previous piece of singles silverware, at the Wimbledon tune-up event in Eastbourne, and in the final she will face another unseeded opponent, Karolina Pliskova.

Just as in her quarterfinal with Kimiko Date-Krumm 24 hours earlier, Makarova came flying out of the traps against Hlavackova only to lose her way.

A break in the second game proved enough for the Russian to take the opening set, but she was unable to build on this momentum as Hlavackova reeled off six unanswered games to level the match up. Makarova halted the Czech's charge at the start of the decider with a break to move 2-1 and hung onto this slender advantage to close out the match, 63 06 64.

"The best part of my game is that I was fighting," Makarova said. "She's playing so aggressive, so flat. It was difficult to return because she was serving so good today.

"At the end of the second set I was so angry because here I'd already played two matches in three sets and I really wanted to finish it in two sets. But she played amazing all that set and it was difficult to do anything."

Earlier in the day, Pliskova overcame Julia Goerges in a serve-dominated encounter. The players hit a combined total of 29 aces, but in the end it was a double fault from Goerges midway through the third set that proved the difference.

That mistake helped Pliskova open up a 4-2 lead and a few games later she served out to love for a 63 46 63 victory.

"There weren't any rallies because we were both serving well and we have similar games, so it was tough," Pliskova said. "In the second set she was serving really well. I almost couldn't do anything. I tried to stay calm and play my game and wait for my chance."

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