US Open: Makarova beats Azarenka to reach career's first Grand Slam semifinal
Russian tennis ace Ekaterina Makarova thrashed former world number one Victoria Azarenka in straight sets to reach the first Grand Slam semifinal of her career on Wednesday at Flushing Meadows.
Makarova, who beat Azarenka 6-4, 6-2, said that she is feeling amazing, as she is finally in the semifinal, and added that it is a great feeling. The Russian left-hander had failed in four prior major quarterfinals.
Azarenka, a two-time Australian Open champion who was runner-up to world number one Serena Williams at Flushing Meadows the past two years, gained the first break of the match for a 3-2 lead in the first set. But Makarova broke back immediately and broke the Belarusian again in the final game to pocket the set, Sport24 reported.
Azarenka, slowed earlier this season by injury, was under pressure throughout the second, facing break points in her first two service games before Makarova broke her for a 4-2 edge. Makarova broke her fading opponent again in the final game, taking the match when Azarenka fired a forehand wide.
In the immediate aftermath of the tie, Azarenka's spokesman revealed that the player had suffered food poisoning and had been vomiting in the run-up to the quarterfinal.
Makarova will now face world number one and five-time champion Serena, who beat 11th-seeded Italian Flavia Pennetta 6-3, 6-2, in the semifinals on Friday for a place in the title match.
Serena is trying to become the first woman since Chris Evert in the 1970s to win at least three straight titles at Flushing Meadows. However, the American has faltered in the year's first three majors, failing to get out of the fourth round at the Australian Open, French Open or Wimbledon, the report added.
(Posted on 04-09-2014)
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