TORONTO, Canada - Ekaterina Makarova saved two match points to come back from a set down and oust the No.7 seed Johanna Konta in the second round of the Rogers Cup.
A year ago, Konta reached the quarterfinals in her Rogers Cup debut, then held in Montreal. Playing for the first time in Toronto - and in her first match since reaching the semifinals at Wimbledon earlier in the season - Konta couldn’t shake off the rust against the Russian, falling 5-7, 7-6(4), 6-3.
“It’s definitely an unbelievable win for me because I never beat her before, it was 0-4,” Makarova told press afterwards. “And today she won the first set, then 5-2, then two match points.
“I was just keeping on fighting and believing in myself that I can beat her. I’m so happy that it happened and I’m moving forward.”
The No.42-ranked Makarova, a former Top 10 player, is finding her best form again after winning the title at the Citi Open last week. She carried that momentum into her clash against Konta, despite never having won a match against the Brit in their previous four meetings.
Makarova matched Konta for pace and aggression in their early exchanges, getting ahead an early break and holding points for a 5-2 lead as the Brit struggled to adjust to the surface and conditions.
But Konta finally broke back as the Russian’s first serves seemed to abandon her, giving Konta plenty of looks at second serves to attack. She completed the turnaround to break Makarova once more and take the opening set.
In the second, Konta once again recovered from an early break to surge ahead, building up a 5-2 lead. But this time the Russian dodged match points in two consecutive games to reel off three games in a row and put them back on level terms and edge through in the tiebreaker.
A lone break of serve made the difference in the third, with Makarova taking the only break point of the set to close out the match and see off the No.7 seed after almost two and a half hours on court.
Up next for the Russian, she’ll take on Lucie Safarova in the third round. The former French Open finalist upset No.11 seed Dominika Cibulkova 6-2, 6-4 earlier in the day.