Makarova tops Pliskova for Pattaya Open crown

The Sports NetworkFebruary 2, 2014 

Pattaya City, Thailand (SportsNetwork.com) - Ekaterina Makarova captured her second career WTA title Sunday with a straight-set victory over Karolina Pliskova in the final of the Pattaya Open.

Makarova earned a 6-3, 7-6 (9-7) triumph for her first title since 2010 at the Wimbledon tune-up in Eastbourne. She is 2-2 all-time in WTA finals.

"Of course, I'm really happy I could win today," said Makarova. "It was a nervous ending and a really tough match, and she was playing really great tennis today. She was serving especially well. I needed to be very focused on my returns to make the points. This is my second WTA title, so I'm really happy about it."

Coming off a solid showing at the Australian Open, which included a surprising first-round win over Venus Williams and a fourth-round loss to eventual champion Li Na, Makarova was seeded fourth this week and battled through a trio of three-set matches en route to the final.

The Russian picked up the lone break of serve in Sunday's match for a 5-3 lead in the first set and held in the next game. The second set remained on serve throughout and Pliskova held a couple of set points in the tiebreak.

Makarova saved both, one thanks to a double fault by Pliskova, before finishing off the match in an hour and 36 minutes.

"It was set point (and) luckily she hit her first double fault of the match then," noted Makarova. "But she had another set point after that and I just tried to keep playing everything in the court and be aggressive at the same time."

Pliskova was playing her second WTA final. The 21-year-old Czech beat American Bethanie Mattek-Sands last year in Kuala Lumpur for her first title. She also beat Mattek-Sands in the first round this week.

"She played better than me the whole match," said Pliskova. ""The last two matches I won from two match points down and from 0-3 in the third, so I just tried to stay in the match in the second set and just tried to fight, because I thought it might happen again. But in the end it didn't."

Makarova collected a first prize of $43,000.

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