Ok, I’ll start with the good new for Ekaterina Makarova. In her fifth try in a Major quarterfinals, the Russian doubles ace reached her first Major singles semifinals with a 6-4 6-2 victory over Victoria Azarenka at the 2014 US Open. Kate is riding the highest ranking in singles of her career. She outplayed two-time back to back US Open finalist Vika. And even though it’s a challenge for anybody to beat Serena Williams, Makarova has done it…and at a Major. Kate defeated Serena at the 2012 Australian Open to reach her first Major quarterfinals. But now for the bad news. Serena has not only beaten Kate twice since then, but she hung 6-0 bagels sets on Makarova in each final set, including at the 2012 US Open. Does Kate have a chance? Yes, of course. It’s sports. Anything can happen. But she’ll be as decidedly an underdog as anybody Serena has played in the Open, including Flavia Pennetta, whom Williams dismissed 6-3 6-2. She was actually broken twice against Pennetta to go down 0-3. Then in classic Serena fashion she won 6 straight games to win the set and 12 out of 14 games to win the quarterfinal match.
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1 SERENA WILLIAMS (won 6-3 6-2 vs 11 Flavia Pennetta)
17 EKATERINA MAKAROVA (won 6-4 6-2 vs 16 Victoria Azarenka)