NEW YORK, NY, USA - Ekaterina Makarova put an end to two-time finalist Caroline Wozniacki’s US Open run, winning a three-set thriller late in the evening to move into the third round.
Wozniacki was one of the seven women left in the draw with a shot at ending the fortnight as the WTA World No.1, but Makarova dashed those hopes after outlasting the Dane 6-2, 6-7(5), 6-1.
Makarova hadn’t managed to beat Wozniacki on any of their seven previous occasions, but under the lights at Flushing Meadows the Russian threw away the script and got off to a roaring start.
The No.5 seed couldn’t find the answers to Makarova’s controlled aggression and tricky lefty shots, and Makarova came away with the edge after three straight breaks of serve, before reeling off another five straight games to grab the opening set and start the second a break to the good.
Makarova couldn’t keep up the imperiously high level she showed in the first set, and Wozniacki quickly capitalized on the dip as the Russian sent more and more unforced errors flying. Her patience was rewarded late in the set, breaking Makarova to love just as the World No.40 was serving out the match.
She held firm to force a tiebreak, and Wozniacki quickly raced ahead 5-1. But the return of Makarova’s fearless attack - along with a string of loose errors and a double fault from Wozniacki - gave the Russian the way back in.
Although Wozniacki managed to edge through in the tiebreak and take them into a third set, the momentum had already swung to her opponent, who picked up where she left off in the first set. Makarova diffused Wozniacki, and the Dane won just one game after that as Makarova made her way into the third after a roller coaster two hours and 20 minutes on court.
A semifinalist here in 2014, Makarova will go on to face either Carla Suarez Navarro or No.29 seed Mirjana Lucic-Baroni in the third round.