US Open 2014: Ekaterina Makarova reaches first semi-final after beating Victoria Azarenka
Last year's runner-up was beaten 6-4 6-2 in New York
Wednesday 03 September 2014
Russia's Ekaterina Makarova reached the first grand slam singles semi-final of her career with victory over two-time US Open runner-up Victoria Azarenka.
Makarova, who is also through to the semi-finals of the women's doubles with Elena Vesnina, was the more consistent player throughout and won 6-4 6-2 to finally emerge triumphant in her fifth slam quarter-final.
Azarenka lost to Serena Williams in the final for the past two years and will drop out of the top 20 as a result of this loss.
The former world number one had played by far her best tournament since returning from a persistent foot injury at Eastbourne in June.
But it had not been an easy journey and she was pushed all the way by 21-year-old qualifier Aleksandra Krunic in the previous round.
Makarova, on the other hand, went into the match having not dropped a set and upset seventh seed Eugenie Bouchard last time out.
It was a contest of fierce hitting but it was left-hander Makarova who recovered from a break down to edge the first set with a break of serve in the final game.
The Russian is the leading female player to be coached by a woman having worked with Evgenia Manyukova since 2007.
Azarenka put the pressure on early in the second set but Makarova resisted and then broke for 4-2, prompting Azarenka to destroy her racquet.
It did not help her cause, though, with Makarova ending the match on a run of four games in a row, clinching victory when Azarenka placed a forehand wide.
Makarova said: "Finally I am in the semi-finals. I had five chances and finally I'm here. It's a great feeling."
The 26-year-old is the only left-hander to beat Serena Williams at a slam and she could meet the world number one in the last four.
On being coached by Manyukova, Makarova said: "I just really enjoy to work with her. Eight years we are working together and it's getting better and better."
- 1 British tourists 'murdered' in Thailand: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
- 2 Vivienne Westwood says 'Yes' to Scottish Independence by declaring: 'I hate England'
- 3 Welcome to Cameroon, where drinking Baileys can lead to imprisonment
- 4 Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
- 5 Vogue under fire for 'Big Booty' article
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
Salmond accused of laughing off national debt with ‘what are they going to do: invade?’ joke