There was a shocking scoreline in the first round of the Internazionali BNL D’Italia as the home crowd was largely disappointed with the outcome of the blockbuster match between Ekaterina Makarova and Roberta Vinci, with the Russian finding her best tennis to triumph in straight sets and progress to the second round where she would face Dominika Cibulkova.
Makarova takes the first set
Both players had contrasting starts to the match as Vinci made a slow start with nothing working well for her in the early stages while Makarova came out firing, with her groundstrokes looking on point and looked like the better player on the court from the first point onwards. It was reflected on the scoreboard early on as Makarova broke serve in the opening game, snatching all four of her points off Vinci’s second serves as the Italian failed to find some first serves in. The Russian then easily consolidated the break as she looked solid on her serve, jumping out to a 2-0 lead. Vinci got herself onto the scoreboard when she held her serve easily to 15, but never had the chance to return level as Makarova was just too good on her serve.
Despite serving at a low first serve percentage of just 50% in the first set, Makarova’s second serve was equally as impressive as her first, losing just seven points on her serve overall. Vinci’s second serves continued to cost her greatly as she continued to struggle in her service games, allowing Makarova to break serve once more in the fifth game and take a double break advantage. Serving for the set, Makarova successfully managed to go against the home crowd and convert her third set point in the game, sealing the first set 6-2 after just 31 minutes of clinical tennis displayed by the Russian.
Makarova takes the win
Carrying the momentum over from the first set, Makarova kept up her level of play as she broke Vinci’s serve to love, taking a formidable lead of a set and a break. Going down 15-30 in her service game, the former world number eight suffered a huge scare as she eventually managed to prevail and consolidate the break of serve, continuing her good run. Vinci then finally got on board in the set despite being brought to deuce twice in the next game, coming up with good serves and powerful forehands to force errors out of Makarova, holding her serve narrowly.
The Italian finally had the golden opportunity to break back when she earned two break points in the next game but failed to convert both of them as the Russian came up with some excellent tennis at the critical moments, clinching the tough service hold. Another marathon game followed as Vinci would rue those missed opportunities after she lost yet another service game, being broken for the fourth time in this match to go down a double break deficit. Determined to close out the victory, Makarova deservedly clinched the victory in straight sets after 79 minutes, losing only three games in the process.