Your Washington Women’s Champion is Kate Makarova
Steve Fogleman in Washington
Today’s Citi Open women’s final between Ekaterina Makarova and Julia Goerges couldn’t be more evenly matched on paper, with two players born in 1988 who each hold two pro career titles, one premier and one international. And as it turns out, it was evenly matched on court too.
Makarova had the advantage of far more experience playing in the Washington’s hot hard courts, having competed at the Citi Open for 6 of the 7 years of the WTA events existence. Makarova had also beaten Goerges in straight sets in their only prior meeting at the 2015 Australian Open. And she beat her again today, with Makarova coasting to home in 3-6, 7-6(2), 6-0 victory for the D.C. title.
It was Goerges who came out swinging early and playing error-free tennis. But Makarova broke her early in the second set and we all thought it was going three. Goerges was patient from that point forward and managed to level the set at 5-all and tried to serve it out at 6-5. She failed and lost the tiebreak 7-2. Goerges hadn’t won a pro title in over 6 years, and her inability to seal the victory is a prime example of her difficulties in tough situations.
Although it was an entertaining final, you have to feel that Washington was an opportunity missed by the WTA and tournament organizers, who had counted on Halep in the final to bring some press to this side of the action. In the end, Makarova’s and Goerges’ back stories are good, but the women’s side really could have used some more juice in the final. There’s always next year.