Two Russians, two Americans face-off in AusOpen women's semifinals
MELBOURNE -- Americans! Russians! Oh my! It's a throwback Thursday at the Australian Open as the women's semifinals feature one All-American affair, one All-Russian affair, with a potential No. 1 vs. No. 2 final in the cards.
No. 2 Maria Sharapova vs. No. 10 Ekaterina Makarova
Sharapova goes into the match on a 9-0 streak to start the 2015 season after winning the Brisbane International in mid-January. She has lost just one set coming into the match -- she saved match points to defeat No. 150 Alexandra Panova in the second round -- and is coming off her best performance of the tournament. In the highly-anticipated semifinal against Eugenie Bouchard, Sharapova was lights out, defeating the young Canadian 6-3, 6-2. A win would keep Sharapova's slim chance at the No. 1 ranking alive. She needs to win the title and hope Serena Williams does not advance past the semifinals.
No. 1 Serena Williams vs. No. 35 Madison Keys
This will be the first meeting between the two and the first All-American semifinal since the 2002 U.S. Open between Serena and Lindsay Davenport. Davenport is now in Keys' box, having taking up coaching duties with the 19-year-old with immediate success. Keys is trying to become the first player to beat both Venus and Serena in a major since Kim Clijsters at the 2009 U.S. Open.