Belgian Wickmayer Does the Makarova in Estoril Final

Posted on May 10, 2009

Belgian tennis, decimated by the retirements of former No. 1s Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin, received a small jolt on Sunday when Begiums' top player, Yanina Wickmayer, beat Ekaterina Makarova 7-5, 6-2 for the Estoril Open title in Portugal.

Wickmayer reached her first tour final on grass last June, but on clay collected her first career singles title in Estoril. In her semifinal the No. 88-ranked Belgian advanced when opponent Shahar Peer retired in the first set with a foot injury. With the win she became Belgium's first tour title winner since Henin in Antwerp last February.

"I'm really happy to have won my first Sony Ericsson WTA Tour title. I've worked hard for it. I don't really have many words to describe the feeling -- I'm nearly speechless!" Wickmayer said. "I've been playing well for a few weeks now. I didn't have great results but I've been practicing really well."

Makarova is now 0-2 in career finals, last week in Fes losing to Anabel Medina Garrigues in the final.

"It was really a good tournament for me," Makarova said. "I wanted to win today because I lost last week in the final too. Maybe I was a bit nervous today, but I'm happy to have made the final here at the Estoril Open."

Americans Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears won their first doubles title as a team, beating Sharon Fichman and Katalin Marosi in the final 2-6, 6-3, 10-5.

"We're pretty happy that we came away with that win," Spears said. "It was an up and down match, so we were very happy to pull that one out. We've actually played four match tiebreaks in a row this week, so we felt confident once we managed to take the match into the tiebreak today."