Sharapova, Makarova cruise into Aussie semis

Melbourne, Australia ( – Maria Sharapova dominated upstart
Eugenie Bouchard to reach her third Australian Open semifinal in four years,
while Ekaterina Makarova had a similarly easy time disposing of third-seeded
Simona Halep during Tuesday’s women’s draw of the season’s first Grand Slam

The second-seeded Sharapova, the 2008 Aussie champion champ and a three-time
finalist, needed just 77 minutes to down the seventh-seeded and 2014 Wimbledon
runner-up Bouchard by a 6-3, 6-2 score.

Makarova, meanwhile, landed in her second career Grand slam semi by
overpowering a mistake-prone Halep, the world’s third-ranked player and a
finalist at last year’s French Open. The Romanian star committed 31 unforced
errors and double-faulted four times in dropping a 6-4, 6-0 decision to the
10th-seeded Russian.

Sharapova, who will face Makarova in Thursday’s semifinals, hasn’t dropped a
set since escaping with a 6-1, 4-6, 7-5 win over qualifier Alexandra Panova in
the second round.

The Williams sisters will each take part in Wednesday’s two quarterfinal
matches, with top-seeded Serena Williams continuing her quest for a sixth
career title in Melbourne by taking on No. 11 seed Dominika Cibulkova. Venus
Williams squares off against 19-year-old American surprise Madison Keys.