Archive for the 'Aegon International.' Category


Makarova wins her first WTA title without dropping a set.

Ekaterina Makarova defeated Victoria Azarenka 7-6 (5), 6-4 at the Eastbourne International grass-court event Saturday to win her first career title.

The 22-year-old Russian became the first unseeded champion at Eastbourne since American Chanda Rubin in 2002, and is the first qualifier to win the title.

Azarenka struggled from the start and appeared to be carrying an injury, but refused to reveal what it was.

“It’s my problem, I’ll keep it to myself,” Azarenka said. “I still have to treat it and I don’t want to put it out there. It’s not a big thing.”

The hobbled 20-year old from Belarus sank to her knees after Makarova hit a winning return to break for 2-0. While Azarenka was moving gingerly at times, she competed throughout, holding a break point at 2-0 and another at 4-2 before forcing a backhand error to break in the ninth game as Makarova failed to serve out the set.

Makarova also faced two break points at 5-5 before taking the tiebreaker.

Leading 2-1 in the second set, Azarenka called for her coach and appeared close to tears. She went on to concede her serve at 2-2 when she made a forehand error.

Makarova, who saved 10 of 11 break points in the match, fought off four break points to hold for 4-2 and two more at 4-3 before claiming victory.

Makarova is the first qualifier to win a title since Alexandra Dulgheru in Warsaw last year.


Finalists set for Eastbourne’s Aegon International.

Russian qualifier Ekaterina Makarova stunned French Open finalist Samantha Stosur 7-6 (7/5), 7-5 Friday to knock the Australian out in the semi-finals of the Eastbourne International.

The number 100 outsider played well above her level as she put out the third seed ranked 93 places above her.

Makarova, 22, from Moscow, will face Victoria Azarenka, who eliminated 2005 champion Kim Clijsters in the quarter-finals at Devonshire Park, and won her semi final match with Marion Bartoli 6-4, 7-5.

Makarova will be bidding to finally win a title after being beaten twice on clay last season, by Yanina Wickmayer in Estoril and by Anabel Medina Garrigues in Fez.

The Australian will still move into a career-best ranking of sixth on Monday in time for the start of Wimbledon, where the sixth seed begins in the first round against Kaia Kanepi of Estonia.

Makarova was the first Eastbourne qualifier to reach the final since Vera Dushevina managed in 2005, where she lost to Clijsters.

The Russian has already assured herself of a Top 90 ranking with number 75 possible if she should win the grass title Saturday.


Azarenka puts out Clijster’s fire!

Victoria Azarenka reached the semi final of the Aegon International at Eastbourne with a victory over Kim Clijsters 7-6, 6-4.

Clijsters had looked to be on a devastating run in her earlier matches as she returned to the grass courts after a long absence, but after losing the first set in a close tie breaker she appeared to lose her focus.

Azarenka who is suffering with ‘Nadal knees’ must be happy that the match only lasted for 2 sets. She was in obvious pain at 4-4 in the final set, and had she lost it could have been another painful exit for the 20 year old. 

She will meet Marion Bartoli in the semi final who survived a marathon against Spanish No.1 María José Martínez Sánchez, 57 64 76(5). Azarenka has won both of the pair’s previous meetings in straight sets.

Bartoli is now in her fourth straight semifinal at this tournament, but she has never been beyond that. She lost in the 2007 semis to Justine Henin, the 2008 semis to Agnieszka Radwanska and the 2009 semis to Virginie Razzano.

The on-paper favorite since the Top 2 seeds fell in the first round, No.3 seed Samantha Stosur, was edged in the first set but came roaring back to beat British wildcard Elena Baltacha in three, 67(5) 61 60. Standing in the way of Stosur and her first grass court final will be qualifier Ekaterina Makarova, who beat Svetlana Kuznetsova, a wildcard here this week, 64 75.


Kim Clijsters is on fire on the grass!

Heather Watson’s impressive run at Eastbourne came to an end in the second round with a 6-1 6-1 defeat by world number 15 Victoria Azarenka.

The 18-year-old had won three matches in qualifying and beaten world number 48 Aleksandra Wozniak earlier in the week at the Aegon International.

But Azarenka, of Belarus, proved too strong and beat Watson in 59 minutes.

Watson, from Guernsey, will now turn her attentions to Wimbledon, where she has a wildcard for the tournament.

Fifth seed Kim Clijsters thrashed Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic 6-1 6-0 to book her place in the quarter-finals.

Australia’s Sam Stosur, the third seed, beat Slovakia’s Daniela Hantuchova 6-3 3-6 6-4 to reach the quarter-finals and record her 300th career victory.


Aravane Rezai defeats Wozniacki in the wind.

Aravane Rezai continued with her newly adopted title as the ‘giant-killer’ by defeating the #1 seed, at the Aegon International in Eastbourne, Caroline Wozniacki 6-4, 1-6, 6-3.

The conditions were tough on both players with the wind off the English Channel gusting up to 25 mph at times, but it was Rezai who handled the conditions better than the Dane. She stayed aggressive throughout the match( can she play any other way?), and forced Wozniacki into a retrieving position on almost every point.

Rezai served a total of 10 aces and saved 7 break points. Both players have a similar style of game, but today it was the French woman who had the answers. She may not win Wimbledon later this month, but whoever she plays will have to be at the top of their game to defeat this fiesty competitor.

Fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska, also slid to a surprise 7-6 (7-2) 6-1 defeat against Victoria Azarenka of Belarus.

But Kim Clijsters, in her first grass court match for nearly four years, thrashed Yanina Wickmayer 6-1 6-1.

Clijsters, 27, last played in a grass tournament at the 2006 Wimbledon semi-finals where she was beaten by compatriot Justine Henin.

The former world number one, who had two years away from the sport, is determined to reach the final at Wimbledon for the first time, having appeared in the three other Grand Slam finals and won the US Open in 2005 and 2009.

She outplayed her 20-year-old compatriot Wickmayer, completing victory with ease in 54 minutes.

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