Makarova triumphs in Pattaya Open tennis final
Handout photo from Tennis Pattaya Open taken on February 2, 2014 shows Russian tennis player Ekaterina Makarova posing with the winner's trophy after beating Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Repulbic 6-3, 7-6 (7) at the WTA Pattaya Open - by Tennis Pattaya Open
The Russian left-hander, whose only previous title came when she won Eastbourne in 2010, withstood a strong challenge in both sets, but her greater consistency and more aggressive play in the tiebreak earned her a victory.
Pliskova, who was also seeking her second career title after winning in Kuala Lumpur in February 2013, struck six aces in her opening service game but still had to fight off two break points before holding for 1-1.
She then failed to convert three break points on Makarova's serve in the next game and went on to lose her serve at 4-3 in the only break of the match when she hit a forehand long.
The second set went with serve, with Pliskova failing to convert two further break points to lead 4-2.
In a dramatic finale, Makarova built a 5-2 lead in the tiebreak but faced set point at 6-5 after she netted a smash.
Pliskova though hit her only double-fault of the match and also failed to win a second set point at 7-6 before Makarova secured victory on her first match point.
"I was angry a little bit because she served twice really good and she returned just on the line and then it was 5-5," said Makarova.
"Then I missed a pretty easy ball. It got tighter and tighter and she had set point again. I just had to be focused and get everything in and try to be as aggressive as I could."
Pliskova said she considered that she had been second best throughout.
"I think she played better than me the whole match," Pliskova said.
"I was just trying to stay in the match and trying to fight," she said.
"What happened in my last matches that I won, from two match points down and 0-3 in the third - I was hoping that this could happen again. But it didn't."