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