Sharapova not taking Makarova lightly

The Russian ace will face compatriot Makarova in what is her seventh Australian Open semi-final and Makarova's first.

Few will give the tenth seeded Makarova much hope heading into the contest, but having progressed to the final four without dropping a set, the 26-year-old is in a rich vein of form and should not be trifled with. Sharapova for one certainly knows the danger that the Makarova poses, even though she has never lost to her.

“I'm also facing an opponent (Makarova) that wasn't necessarily a favorite coming into that stage. That's always a tricky situation because she's going to come into that match free and almost happy to be in that situation, and that's dangerous,” Sharapova said after her quarter-final victory over Eugenie Bouchard.

“I haven't faced a lefty in this tournament yet. She's been using her lefty serve extremely well from what I've seen. I'll be looking out for that, work on a few things tomorrow, and be ready for that match.”

The two players have met five times previously, including twice at the Australian Open, with Sharapova winning all five encounters and dropping just one set.