Sharapova blasts into Aussie Open semis

04:29, Jan 23 2013
Australian Open 2013
Janko Tipsarevic celebrates his straight sets win over Lleyton Hewitt in the first round.
Australian Open 2013
Ana Ivanovic celebrates a point during her match against Melinda Czink.
Australian Open 2013
A packed house shows up to watch local Lleyton Hewitt's first round match at Rod Laver Arena.
Australian Open 2013
Lleyton Hewitt's returns a point during his loss to Janko Tipsarevic.
Australian Open 2013
David Ferrer lies on court after throwing himself at a point during his first round win over Olivier Rochus.
Australian Open 2013
Fan show their home town support on day one.
Australian Open 2013
Maria Sharapova serves during her first round win.
AustralianOpen
Novak Djokovic on his way to a first round straight sets victory.
Australian Open
Caroline Wozniacki in action during her first round match against Sabine Lisicki.
Australian Open
Andy Murray returns a shot against Robin Haase on day two of the Australian Open.
Serena Williams
Chair umpire Kerrilyn Cramer comes to the aid of Serena Williams after she fell heavily during her match against Romanian Edina Gallovits-Hall.
Roger Federer
Roger Federer during his first round match against Benoit Paire of France.
Australian Open
Bernard Tomic keeps his eye on the ball.
Australian Open
Melbourne Park is lit up for the night session on day two.
Australian Open
Jarmila Gajdosova of Australia does the splits in her first round match against Yanina Wickmayer.
Australian Open
Gael Monfils celebrates a point during his first round match.
Australian Open
Fans scramble for signatures from Argentinian Juan Martin del Potro.
Australian Open
No 1 seed Victoria Azarenka in action on day two.
Australian Open
Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland hits a return to Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania.
Australian Open
Daniel Gimeno-Traver of Spain hits a return to compatriot Nicolas Almagro during their men's singles match at the Australian Open.
Nishikori
Kei Nishikori of Japan plays a backhand in his second round match against Carlos Berlocq of Argentina.
Australian Open
Jerzy Janowicz exploded in rage after losing a 79-minute set to India’s Somdev Devvarman.
Australian Open
Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic plays a backhand in his second round match against Guillaume Rufin of France.
Sam Stosur
Sam Stosur exits Rod Laver Arena after her second round defeat to China's Zheng Jie
Maria Sharapova
Maria Sharapova waits for a serve from Japan's Misaki Doi during her second round roll-over.
Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic lost just six games as he cruised to a straight sets victory over American Ryan Harrison.
Australian Open
Heather Watson of Great Britain celebrates with fans after her second round singles win.
Australian Open
Bob and Mike Bryan perform their trademark chest bump after winning their opening doubles match.
Australian Open
Victoria Azarenka of Belarus plays a backhand in her second round match against Eleni Daniilidou of Greece.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga plays a backhand in his second round match against Go Soeda of Japan.
Serena Williams
Serena Williams of the United States of America plays a backhand in her second round match against Garbine Muguruza of Spain.
Andy Murray
Andy Murray plays a forehand in his second round match against Joao Sousa of Portugal during day four of the 2013 Australian Open
Bernard Tomic
Bernard Tomic recovered from losing a first set tie-breaker to defeat German qualifier Daniel Brands in four sets.
Roger Federer
Roger Federer picked up early breaks in each set to defeat Nikolay Davydenko in straight sets in Melbourne.
Roger Federer
The pink and black shoes of Roger Federer.
Australian Open
Stefan 'Redfoo' Gordy of the American electro duo LMFAO attends the MLC Hotshots session at the Australian Open.
Australian Open
Angelique Kerber of Germany hits a return to Madison Keys of the US.
Australian Open
Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland plays a forehand in her third round match against Heather Watson of Great Britain.
Australian Open
Maria Sharapova celebrates her 6-1, 6-3 victory over Venus Williams.
Australian Open
Tomas Berdych returns a shot during his match against Jurgen Melzer.
Australian Open
Ana Ivanovic pumps her fist after beating fellow Serbian Jelena Jankovic.
Australian Open
Novak Djokovic is at full strength during his win over Radek Stepanek.
Australian Open
Jamie Hampton celebrates winning the second set during her women's singles match against Victoria Azarenka.
Australian Open
Victoria Azarenka hits a return to Jamie Hampton.
Michael Chardy
Frenchman, world number 36, Michael Chardy lines up the ball in his Australia Open third round victory over sixth-seed Juan Martin del Potro.
Andy Murray
Andy Murray exclaims his satisfaction at beating Ricardas Berankis of Lithuania in the third round of the Australian Open.
Australian Open
Gael Monfils is doubled over with exhaustion during his epic third round match against Gilles Simon.
Australian Open
Bernard Tomic and Roger Federer share a pat on the back after their third round match.
Australian Open
Serena and Venus Williams whisper tactics during their second round doubles match.
Australian Open
Caroline Wozniacki returns a shot during her third round win.
Australian Open
David Ferrer of Spain serves to Kei Nishikori of Japan during their men's singles match at the Australian Open.
Australian Open 2013
David Ferrer of of Spain plays a forehand in his fourth round match against Kei Nishikori.
Ekaterina Makarova of Russia hits a return to Angelique Kerber of Germany during their women's singles match at the Australian Open
Ekaterina Makarova of Russia hits a return to Angelique Kerber of Germany during their women's singles match at the Australian Open.
Australian Open 2013
Angelique Kerber of Germany receives medical treatment during her women's singles match against Ekaterina Makarova.
Sharapova
Maria Sharapova of Russia hits a return to Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium.
Sharapova
Maria Sharapova (right) of Russia after her fourth round match against Kirsten Flipkens.
Agnieszka Radwanska
Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland celebrates defeating Ana Ivanovic of Serbia during their women's singles match at the Australian Open.
Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic celebrates after his five-hour, two-minute five-set victory over Stanislas Wawrinka in the fourth round at the Australian Open.
Ana Ivanovic
Ana Ivanovic is certain she is in good form despite exiting yet another major before the quarter-finals.
Maria Sharapova
Maria Sharapova has lost just five games in her four wins at this year's Australian Open.
Australian Open 2013
ictoria Azarenka of Belarus hits a return to Elena Vesnina of Russia during their women's singles match at the Australian Open.
Australian Open 2013
Victoria Azarenka of Belarus (right) kisses Elena Vesnina of Russia after defeating her in their women's singles match at the Australian Open.
Australian Open
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga celebrates making it into the quarter finals of the Australian Open.
Andy Murray
Andy Murray of Britain celebrates defeating Gilles Simon of France.
Serena Williams
Serena Williams of the US serves to Maria Kirilenko of Russia.
Australian Open
Roger Federer of Switzerland serves to Milos Raonic of Canada.
Australian Open
Roger Federer of Switzerland celebrates winning the second set during his men's singles match against Milos Raonic.
Andy Murray
Andy Murray signs autographs after his fourth round victory over Frenchman Gilles Simon.
Australian Open
Li Na celebrates her win over fourth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska.
Australian Open
Nicolas Almagro of Spain (L) congratulates compatriot David Ferrer after Ferrer won their men's singles quarter-final.
Australian Open
David Ferrer of Spain reacts during his men's singles quarter-final match against compatriot Nicolas Almagro.
Australian Open
Ekaterina Makarova of Russia plays a backhand in her Quarterfinal match against Maria Sharapova.
Maria Sharapova
Maria Sharapova of Russia hits a return to compatriot Ekaterina Makarova.
Australian Open
Maria Sharapova of Russia celebrates defeating Ekaterina Makarova.
Australian Open 2013
Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates defeating Tomas Berdych of Czech Republic.
Serena Williams
Serena Williams does the splits during her quarterfinals loss to compatriot Sloane Stephens.
Serena Williams
Sloane Stephens of the US (R) shakes hands with compatriot Serena Williams after defeating her in their women's singles quarter-final match.
Australian Open
Victoria Azarenka of Belarus celebrates winning her Quarterfinal match against Svetlana Kuznetsova.
Australian Open
Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia looks on after falling in her Quarterfinal match against Victoria Azarenka.
Andy Murray  celebrates his win over Jeremy Chardy.
Andy Murray celebrates his win over Jeremy Chardy.
Andy Murray
Andy Murray during his match against Jeremy Chardy.
Jo-Wilfred Tsonga
Jo-Wilfred Tsonga of France reacts in his Quarterfinal match against Roger Federer.
Australian Open
Roger Federer of Switzerland plays a backhand in his Quarterfinal match against Jo-Wilfred Tsonga.
Li Na
Li Na swept Maria Sharapova aside 6-2 6-2 in the first semifinal at the Australian Open.
Maria Sharapova
It was not Maria Sharapova's day, winning just four games in a straight sets loss to Li Na.
Victoria Azarenka
Victoria Azarenka of Belarus plays a backhand in her Semifinal match against Sloane Stephens of the United States.
Sloane Stephens
Sloane Stephens of the United States of America plays a backhand in her Semifinal match against Victoria Azarenka of Belarus.
Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic of Serbia hits a return to David Ferrer of Spain.
David Ferrer
David Ferrer of Spain reacts during his men's singles semi-final match against Novak Djokovic of Serbia.
Andy Murray
Andy Murray missed a chance to serve out the match in the fourth set, but finished off Roger Federer in the fifth.
Roger Federer
A dejected Roger Federer during his post-match press conference.
Victoria Azarenka
Victoria Azarenka bursts into tears after defeating Li Na for back-to-back Australian Open titles.
Victoria Azarenka
Belarusian Victoria Azarenka kisses the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup in the locker room as women's singles champion.
Li Na
China's Li Na grimaces after injuring her left ankle during the Australian Open women's final.
Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic celebrates winning a point during his Australian Open final victory over Andy Murray.

Maria Sharapova continued her perfect run in Australian Open quarter-finals by swatting aside Russian compatriot Ekaterina Makarova tonight.

Sharapova had not lost any of her previous five Australian Open quarter-final matches, a record she extended with ease against the 19th-seeded Makarova with a 6-2 6-2 victory.

The pair had met in the same round last year at Melbourne Park.The 24-year-old Makarova had beaten 11th seed Marion Bartoli and fifth seed Angelique Kerber to make the quarter-finals, but was unable to stop Sharapova's rampant march through the tournament.

Sharapova has dropped just nine games in total, the fewest number conceded by a semi-finalist at the tournament.

Monica Seles conceded just 12 games on her way to the 1991 semi-finals.

Sharapova, who won the Australian Open title in 2008, will now meet sixth seed Li Na in the semi-finals on Thursday.

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Earlier today, Li advanced to the semifinals for the third time in four years, bringing fourth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska's 13-match winning streak to a shuddering halt.

Sixth-seeded Li, who lost the 2011 Australian Open final to Kim Clijsters only months before her Grand Slam breakthrough at the French Open, had a 7-5, 6-3 victory over Radwanska in today's first match on Rod Laver Arena.

 ''She's a tough player.  I was feeling today against a wall,'' Li said.

''She can hit everywhere, but without a mistake.  I was feeling just very tough.  You have to focus on every shot. 

"Not every point, every shot.'' Radwanska came into the Australian Open with titles this season at Auckland and Sydney, where she beat Li in the semifinals, but continued her poor conversation rate in Grand Slam quarterfinals.

She's only advanced further once in seven tries - at Wimbledon last year, when she lost the final to Serena Williams.

The quarterfinals on the other half of the draw will feature American teenager Sloane Stephens against Serena Williams, who is aiming for a third consecutive major title, and defending champion Victoria Azarenka against two-time major winner Svetlana Kuznetsova.

Stephens has heard a lot of advice from Serena Williams.

Pointers on her groundstrokes, and even on her grunts. It's been mostly gentle encouragement, occasionally spiced with headline-making comments from Williams, who has predicted the 19-year-old American will one day top the women's rankings.

As Stephens learned earlier this month, though, it's one thing to play with Williams, another to play against the 15-time Grand Slam champion.

With a comeback 6-1, 3-6, 7-5 win over Bojana Jovanovski on Monday, Stephens qualified for her first quarterfinal at a major tournament.  Williams has already played at that level 34 times.

''It will be tough, obviously. It's quarters of a Grand Slam,'' Stephens said.

''There won't be that, like, first time, 'Oh, my God, I'm playing Serena.' That's kind of out of the window now. So that's good.''

-With AAP

Reuters