Ekaterina Makarova followed up her triumph in Washington DC with another impressive victory over the Nanchang champion Peng Shuai in the first round of the Rogers Cup, prevailing in straight sets after just 1 hour and 14 minutes.
Makarova strolls to dominate the first set
Some early unforced errors from Peng was what Makarova needed as the Russian broke serve in the opening game of the match, clinching the perfect start. Powerful backhands then aided the lower-ranked player to consolidate the break and open up a two-game lead, securing the best possible start to the match as she jumped out to an early lead.
Peng got herself into further trouble with her unforced errors, allowing Makarova to earn her second consecutive break and looked to have the first set within her control. Looking very solid in her play, the Russian easily consolidated the break for a formidable four-game advantage, looking to close out the set in a hurry.
A bagel looked to be highly possible when the Russian earned two break points in the fifth game, but Peng put up an inspired display to get herself onto the scoreboard, sparing herself from further embarrassment. Nevertheless, it did not seem to have affected Makarova’s mentality as she continued to play her best tennis, closing out her service game with a powerful ace to be just one game away from winning the first set. Errors continued to plague the Chinese, with the Russian successfully claiming the first set 6-1 after just 31 minutes of play, looking sharp in her play.
Makarova overcomes service woes to triumph
Carrying over the momentum into the second set, Makarova had a great start to the set as she easily held her serve, with Peng still unable to find her range. However, the Chinese had an encouraging service hold as she fended off three break points in a marathon game in which she prevailed to level the scores at 1-1.
Then, Makarova faced some troubles on her serve for the first time in the match as the Russian needed to recover from a 0-30 deficit to narrowly hold her serve. Peng’s woes continued when she put in yet another poor service game and gifted Makarova the lead in the second set, putting her closer to victory. Unexpectedly, Peng produced a great response when she immediately broke back and returned level on serve, keeping her in contention to send the match into a deciding set.
Nevertheless, Makarova regained the lead as there was a third consecutive break, placing herself just two games away from the win. It soon became a galore of breaks as Peng was determined to keep herself in the match and the Russian became a little too inconsistent. Several unforced errors, including one drive volley smashed into the net at 30-15 and a double fault on break point, gifted Makarova yet another break as this time she was also given the golden opportunity to serve out the match. Utilizing her powerful backhands, Makarova came up with some impressive aggressive tennis to triumph in straight sets after 1 hour and 13 minutes, sealing the excellent victory to set up a meeting with nemesis Johanna Konta in the second round.