(1) Serena Williams vs (17) Ekaterina Makarova
Friday’s second semi-final sees two time defending champion and world number 1 Serena Williams take on first time Grand Slam semi-finalist Ekaterina Makarova.
Serena has taken full advantage of a rather favorable draw in New York, the two time defending champion has not lost more than 3 games in a set on her way to the semi-finals. Serena looked to be in some trouble in her quarter-final match against Flavia Pennetta when she was twice broken on route to conceding a 0-3 lead. Serena quickly turned things around, winning 12 of the last 14 games. Serena played incredibly well for the majority of the match and played with a fierce intensity, clearly determined to capture her 3 consecutive US Open title.
Ekaterina Makarova comes into her first Grand Slam semi-final on the back of two impressive victories over more fancied opponents, straight set victories over Eugenie Boucahrd and Victoria Azarenka. However it must be noted that on both occasions Makarova's opponents were hampered by health problems.It will be interesting to see how Makarova deals with the occasion, there is no doubt that this is the biggest match of her career thus far.
Serena Williams has 3-1 head to head record over the Makarova, the Russian shocked Serena at the 2012 Australian Open with a dominant 6-2 6-3 upset victory in the fourth round. Serena has won their two most recent encounters both in straight sets. Their most recent encounter took place earlier this year in Dubai. Makarova pushed Serena all the way in the opening set but was unable to convert a set point opportunity. Serena went on to win 7-6 6-0.
It’s hard to see Makarova taking a set off a fired up Serena Williams on Friday evening. Serena is primed and ready, desperate to claim her sixth US Open title and avoid a Slam-less season.
Prediction: Serena Williams to defeat Ekaterina Makarova 2 sets