Sharapova’s game glowed as much as her hair in a quarterfinal rout.
For the second straight year, Maria Sharapova faced countrywoman Ekaterina Makarova in a rematch of an Australian Open quarterfinal a year ago. Even more emphatic in the sequel, the world #2 continued her inexorable march deep into the Melbourne draw with a 6-2 6-2 victory that featured little suspense after the first five games.
Carrying the confidence from her upset over Kerber into this match, Makarova started promisingly by varying the placement on her first serve. She struck a body serve and a serve down the T for winners, while a fine forehand winner contributed to the love hold. With an ace and stinging forehands, Sharapova held her own game almost as easily. A double fault thrust Makarova into trouble early in her next game, leading to a pair of break points. Swinging her opponent wide with a well-angled backhand, Sharapova drew first blood.
Quickly erasing the arrears, Makarova constructed a thoughtful...