Sharapova favourite to see off Serena’s conqueror in Australia
Ekaterina Makarova produced the biggest shock in the Australian Open so far by seeing off favourite Serena Williams in the last 16 – but her luck looks like coming to an end in her quarter final against Maria Sharapova.
Whilst calling her win against Williams lucky may be doing the Russian something of a disservice, there can be no denying her victory owed as much to the poor play of the 13-time Grand Slam champion as her own excellence.
Williams made 37 unforced errors in that match and it’s hard to see Sharapova being as generous in the last eight.
Sharapova has dropped just one set so far in the tournament – the first in the last round against German Sabine Lisicki – and bounced back from that in emphatic style to take the match 3-6 6-2 6-3.
Sharapova is 1/4 to win the match and make it to the semi finals and it’s hard to see beyond the experienced 24-year-old who has made the final in Melbourne twice, winning once.
The players have faced off on two previous occasions with Sharapova winning both encounters.
However, Makarova did force the former World No.1 to drop a set in their previous encounter in Madrid last year and backing the underdog to win at least one set could prove a lucrative bet – especially considering how she took advantage of Williams’ mistakes in the last round.
It’s 3/1 for Sharapova to win the match 2-1 while Makarova is out at 3/1 to make it to her first ever first ever Grand Slam semi final and may be worth a punt considering her earlier victory over Vera Zvonareva.