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PTT Pattaya Open 2014

Makarova Claims the PTT Pattaya Open Title

She came, she saw and she conquered, and now Ekaterina Makarova is the PTT Pattaya Open champion for 2014. It is just the second title of her career, after she won at Eastbourne back in 2010.

“I’m very happy because today was a tough match. She was playing really great tennis. She was serving really good so I needed to be very focused on my returns,” said the happy champion, who will celebrate by taking a 2.30am flight. Some celebration.

She won in two sets, 6-3 7-6, but neither were easy. There was only one break of serve in the entire match, and that came at 4-2 in the first set when Pliskova put a forehand long.

But first, the beginning. Makarova held serve and then Pliskova opened with three consecutive aces. If that’s not a statement of intent then I don’t know what is. In fact she went on to serve a remarkable six aces in that game, but what was even more remarkable is that she also faced two break points. How is this possible!

Anyway she saved those, and then led 40-0 on Makarova’s serve in the next game. And Makarova saved those too. And then it went with serve until that break at 4-2. There hadn’t been many rallies to begin with, but that changed as the match went on and it became quite entertaining. Thank you ladies.

The second set was even exciting as well and produced a dramatic finale, but before that Pliskova held a couple of break points to lead 4-2. So, with no breaks it was tiebreak time, and Makarova sped to a 5-2 lead. Match over? Not quite, because Pliskova recovered to lead 6-5 when her opponent made a mess of a smash and dumped it into the net.

So were we going to have a surprise third set? No. The Czech chose that moment to produce her only double-fault of the match. And she also failed to win a second set point at 7-6, before netting a backhand on Makarova’s first match point at 8-7.

Makarova wasn’t happy when the tiebreak got so close.

“I was angry a little bit because she served twice really good and she returned just on the line and then it was 5-5. Then I missed a pretty easy ball (the smash). It got tighter and tighter and she had set point again. I just had to be focused and get everything in and try to be as aggressive as I could.”

Pliskova was disappointed of course, but she was a little hard on herself thinking that she had been the lesser player throughout the contest. She might have been, but only by a percentage point or two.

“I think she played better than me the whole match,” Pliskova said. “I was just trying to stay in the match and trying to fight. What happened in my last matches that I won, from two match points down and 0-3 in the third, I was hoping that this could happen again. But it didn’t.”