Australian Open

Sharapova cruises into semis

2013-01-22 09:31
Maria Sharapova (AFP)

Melbourne - Record-setting world No 2 Maria Sharapova reached the Australian Open semi-finals for the loss of just nine games as she blitzed fellow Russian Ekaterina Makarova on Tuesday.

Sharapova, seeking her fifth Grand Slam title and her second in Melbourne, smashed Makarova 6-2, 6-2 in 66 minutes to set up a semi-final with China's sixth seed Li Na.

Sharapova, who 'double-bagelled' her first two matches 6-0, 6-0, and then beat Venus Williams 6-1, 6-3 and Kirsten Flipkens 6-1, 6-0, betters Monica Seles' Australian Open record of losing only 12 games before the semis.

Despite the scoreline, she insisted it had been close against Makarova, against whom she has never lost in five matches.

"No matter what our record is, we always have close matches," she said.

"It was quite close in the beginning today, we exchanged breaks of serves, but I think I ended up being the more aggressive player.

"Today was a matter of staying focused because I know how excited she was to play me."

Sharapova drew first blood when she broke Makarova in the third game of the first set, but Makarova immediately retrieved the break to level at two-all.

That was as close as it got. Makarova, who beat 15-time major champion Serena Williams in the fourth round at the Australian Open last year, was unable to settle, dropping serve again before Sharapova tore through the remainder of the 31-minute opening set.

The French Open champion took unstoppable momentum into the second set and immediately skipped to a 2-0 lead. A streak of six straight games ended when Makarova finally held serve to get on the scoreboard at 1-2.

Sharapova took a 5-1 lead on the back of powerful serving and her trademark forehand. Makarova offered only token resistance as Sharapova booked her berth against Li, who defeated world number four Agnieszka Radwanska 7-5, 6-3 earlier on Tuesday.

Sharapova leads the head-to-head 8-4 against Li. And she denied she was underdone for the semi-finals after shipping just nine games in five matches.

"I don't want to give my opponents the chance to test me," she said. "Do I want them to test me? Would I prefer that? Absolutely not."

NEXT ON SPORT24X

Ferrer ousted in Barcelona

2014-04-23 17:34

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Vote

Which is your favourite Grand Slam of the year?

 
 
Featured Blog

The stock of Bulls and Sharks 2014 Super Rugby jerseys are slowly becoming available after the festive season break, writes blogger Baylion.

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

TV schedule Plan your couch time with our searchable sport TV guide

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.