Makarova reaches first fi­nal in D.C.

The Washington Post Sunday - - BASEBALL - CITI OPEN NOTES BY AVA WALLACE ava.wallace@wash­post.com

With a dou­ble-fist pump and a megawatt smile, Eka­te­rina Makarova skipped to a few firsts Satur­day af­ter­noon at the Citi Open. Af­ter fi­nally dis­patch­ing bold young French­woman Oceane Dodin, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, in the semi­fi­nals, Makarova reached her first tour­na­ment fi­nal since 2014 and her first fi­nal in Wash­ing­ton af­ter three trips to the semis.

She will play Sunday against fourth-seeded Ger­man Ju­lia Go­erges, who de­feated her coun­try­woman Andrea Petkovic, 5-7, 6-4, 7-5, in a 2-hour 30-minute slugfest late Satur­day.

“I started to­day a bit slower than I have to be, but in the sec­ond set I tried to step in a lit­tle bit more and to make her move, and it started work­ing,” Makarova said. “. . . I’m so happy that fi­nally, I fin­ished it in my way.”

The Rus­sian, ranked No. 58 in the world, reached a ca­reer-high No. 8 rank­ing in 2015, which was also her last ap­pear­ance at the Citi Open.

Men’s dou­bles fi­nal set

Sec­ond-seeded Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo beat the Amer­i­can dou­bles pow­er­house Bob and Mike Bryan, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4, in the semi­fi­nals Satur­day to record their 17th con­sec­u­tive win. In Sunday ‘s fi­nal they will meet top-seeded duo Henri Kon­ti­nen and John Peers, who downed Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares, 6-7 (7-4), 7-5, 10-8.

The fi­nal is a re­match of the Wim­ble­don semi­fi­nal that Kubot and Melo won — Kubot took the No. 1 dou­bles rank­ing from Kon­ti­nen in that match.

Aoyama wins another ti­tle

In an un­der-the-radar but not at all un­ex­pected women’s dou­bles fi­nal, Shuko Aoyama, the 47 th-ranked dou­bles player in the world, marked her dom­i­nance in Wash­ing­ton with her fourth Citi Open cham­pi­onship Satur­day. She and part­ner Re­nata Vo­ra­cova beat the hastily as­sem­bled team of Sloane Stephens, the Citi Open sin­gles cham­pion in 2015, and Eu­ge­nie Bouchard, 6-3, 6-2.

Wash­ing­ton has been a haven for Aoyama, who has played at Rock Creek Park Tennis Cen­ter ev­ery year since 2012 and made the fi­nal ev­ery year ex­cept in 2015. Her own­er­ship of the event is so to­tal that her four ti­tles have come with four part­ners.

“I don’t know!” Aoyama said when asked why she has done so well in Wash­ing­ton, be­fore mus­ing that the fast courts suit her well. “I don’t know why, but I’m en­joy­ing it ev­ery time, play­ing here. The crowd is so nice, ev­ery time sup­port­ing me.”

DOUG KAPUSTIN/FOR THE WASH­ING­TON POST

Rus­sia’s Eka­te­rina Makarova de­feated Oceane Dodin in a semi­fi­nal Satur­day and will meet Ju­lia Go­erges in the women’s fi­nal Sunday.

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