Tennis: Makarova beats Azarenka to reach semi

Ekaterina Makarova, of Russia, returns a shot against Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus. Photo / AP
Ekaterina Makarova, of Russia, returns a shot against Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus. Photo / AP

Ekaterina Makarova reached her first Grand Slam semifinal, beating Victoria Azarenka in straight sets at the U.S. Open.

The 26-year-old Russian won 6-4, 6-2 on Wednesday after losing her previous four major quarterfinals. The players were 16th and 17th in the seedings but came in with very different resumes.

Azarenka is a two-time Australian Open champ who lost to Serena Williams in the last two U.S. Open finals. But her ranking slipped after a season interrupted by injuries.

She often looked shaky against qualifier Aleksandra Krunic but eked out a three-set victory. But on Wednesday, Makarova took full advantage of her mistakes.

Unusually subdued for most of the match, Azarenka smashed her racket after an unforced error gave Makarova a break and a 4-2 lead in the second set.

Also today:
Serena Williams v Flavia Pennetta
Stan Wawrinka v Kei Nishikori
Novak Djokovic v Andy Murray

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