Makarova relief at semi spot

Ekaterina MakarovaEkaterina Makarova (10/1 – Outright Winner) has revealed her relief at reaching a Grand Slam semi-final for the first time in her career after defeating Victoria Azarenka in the last eight of the US Open.

The Russian was in sensational form against her Belarusian opponent and stormed to a 6-4 6-2 victory to move into the last four of the final major of the season.

Makarova has been brilliant throughout the tournament so far and the 26-year-old has yet to drop a single set.

The Russian had already defeated Grace Min, Polona Hercog, Zarina Diyas and Eugenie Bouchard in the previous rounds but the five-time Grand Slam quarter-finalist now faces her toughest challenge in a match against Serena Williams for a place in the final.

Williams cruised past Italian 11th seed Flavia Pennetta 6-3 6-2 and looks in ominous form as the American targets a sixth US Open crown.

However, Makarova is feeling confident and is looking forward to a first semi-final appearance in a major tournament.

“It’s a great feeling, I feel amazing,” she said. “Finally I’m in a semi-final. I’ve had five chances but now I’m in a semi-final and it’s a great feeling.”

Williams is the overwhelming 1/8  favourite to defeat Makarova while the American is 4/9 to win the US Open outright.

The other semi-final will see Peng Shuai take on former world number one Caroline Wozniacki for a place in the final.

The Dane defeated Sara Errani 6-0 6-1 in the quarter-finals and is 5/2 to win the tournament outright, with her opponent the rank outsider at 16/1.

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