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20 April 2014

Russia maintains its place among the elite


MATCH REPORT

By Richard van Poortvliet

Photo: Sergey KivrinEkaterina Makarova (RUS)

SOCHI, RUSSIA: Russia have secured their Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group status for another year, after they took an unassailable 3-0 lead against Argentina, following Ekaterina Makarova’s straight sets victory against Paula Ormaechea.

It was a dominant display by the world No. 22, who has been in excellent form this weekend as she sealed a 61 62 victory in an hour and 19 minutes, against her Argentine opponent, who had no match for her rasping forehands from the baseline.

“It was a good weekend, but especially for me as I played two matches. I was number one in the team, so I felt a little bit nervous, but I am really happy we came through all of this,” said a delighted Makarova.

Ormaechea came into this tie with an excellent record on clay, having won 11 out of 12 matches on this surface. However, after a demoralising defeat to Elena Vesnina on day one, the Argentine was under pressure to give her country a lifeline, by beating the in-form Makarova.

Things did not start well for the 21 year-old, who was broken in the very first game of the match and the Russian swept to take the first set 6-1 in just a shade under half an hour.

The second set proved to be a different story early on, as the Argentine showed excellent battling qualities to try and nullify the power of Makarova from the baseline.

Ormaechea held serve in a marathon second game and immediately broke her opponent to move into the lead for the first time in the match. In keeping with what has been a disappointing week for the world No. 71, she dropped her serve in the very next game and was clearly frustrated about this, long after the match finished.

“I was really, really trying but I never found my tennis. I couldn’t feel it. I broke and then I had chances to win my serve, but then she played two great points and then I was struggling. At the moment I am really disappointed, but it will get better,” said a dejected Ormaechea.

There was to be no way back for the Argentine, as the Russian No. 1 won five games in a row – hitting 28 winners, to seal a 61 62 victory, with a crushing cross court forehand in an hour and 19 minutes.

Makarova seemed to revel in taking on the extra responsibility of being Russia’s top-ranked player for the first time in her career. She has always been an excellent doubles player and now she seems to be taking that form into her singles game.

“Today maybe I was a little bit more motivated as we were leading 2-0 and we needed just one more point and I think I showed really good tennis today,” the world No. 22 mentioned.

 

Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) - 20/04/2014

Paula Ormaechea (ARG) - 20/04/2014

Captain Anastasia Myskina (RUS) - 20/04/2014

Captain Maria-Jose Gaidano (ARG) - 20/04/2014

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