Australian Open 2015: Makarova 1st to semifinals, beats HalepMelbourne, Australia: Ekaterina Makarova raced to a 3-0 lead in the first nine minutes of the match and beat third-seeded Simona Halep 6-4, 6-0 in the first quarterfinal at the Australian Open on Tuesday.The win
Melbourne, Australia: Ekaterina Makarova raced to a 3-0 lead in the first nine minutes of the match and beat third-seeded Simona Halep 6-4, 6-0 in the first quarterfinal at the Australian Open on Tuesday.
The win in just 68 minutes under cool, sunny skies at Melbourne Park advanced the Russian player to a semifinal against either Maria Sharapova or Eugenie Bouchard, who played the second match on Rod Laver Arena.
It will be Makarova's second consecutive Grand Slam semifinal. She made her first major semi at last year's U.S. Open, losing to Serena Williams after beating Bouchard in the fourth round.
Halep, last year's French Open runner-up, was under pressure from Makarova's array of strong forehands to all areas of the court. Serving at 5-3 in the first set, the Romanian saved two set points, but Makarova clinched the opener on the third when Halep netted a backhand.
Makarova broke Halep's serve to open the second set, helped by a double-fault. The Russian player then saved three break points in the next game to lead 2-0 and then broke the Romanian player again before shutting out Halep the rest of the way.
The 26-year-old Makarova has had her best Grand Slam results at Melbourne Park, advancing to the quarterfinals two of the past four years and the fourth round in the other two. Last year, she lost to eventual champion Li Na in the fourth round, and both quarterfinal losses were to Sharapova.
"I love this court, I'm so happy I came through," said Makarova, who said she ate the same breakfast she's been having all tournament — yoghurt and toast — before Tuesday's match.
"Before in the quarterfinals, was never sure about the semis, but now I'm there," Makarova said.
Two men's quarterfinals were set for later Tuesday. Rafael Nadal took on Tomas Berdych and the night match saw Andy Murray play local hope Nick Kyrgios.
The 19-year-old Kyrgios, who beat then-No. 1 Nadal in the fourth round at Wimbledon last year, defeated Andreas Seppi in the fourth round, the player who knocked Roger Federer out of the touranment.
Kyrgios is the first male player since Federer in 2001 to reach two Grand Slam quarterfinals as a teen.