First Grand Slam Semifinal For Safarova

Lucie Safarova made short work of fellow lefty Ekaterina Makarova in becoming the first player into the Wimbledon semifinals. Next up for her is another Czech.

Published July 01, 2014 12:14

First Grand Slam Semifinal For Safarova
Lucie Safarova

LONDON, England - No.23 seed Lucie Safarova continued her fabulous fortnight with a straight set triumph over No.22 seed Ekaterina Makarova in the quarterfinals of Wimbledon on Tuesday.

The Plot
The winner of this clash of lefties would be into her first Grand Slam semifinal. Makarova lost her three previous quarterfinals at the 2012 and 2013 Australian Open and at the 2013 US Open. Safarova lost her one previous Grand Slam quarterfinal at the 2007 Australian Open and had never been beyond the third round here prior to this year's staging.

Both players have had Top 10 wins this fortnight, Makarova over World No.4 Agnieszka Radwanska in the fourth round and Safarova over World No.10 Dominika Cibulkova in the third round. Safarova had been a bit more dominant, though, not dropping a set all tournament, with Makarova's lone set loss coming in her opener against Kimiko Date-Krumm.

The Turning Point
Safarova grabbed the momentum from the get-go, breaking Makarova in the Russian's first service game en route to a 3-0 start. It was all holds the rest of the set, resulting in a comfortable first set win for Safarova. Then at 1-1 in the second set, Safarova really took control, breaking three more times, and in fact not losing another game in her 58-minute, 6-3, 6-1 triumph.

By The Numbers
Safarova dominated the statistics, for instance winning 26 of 30 first serve points compared to 16 of 29 for Makarova. She was four of seven on break points and fought off all three break points on her own serve. Finally, Safarova fired 24 winners to Makarova's seven.

What's Next
Safarova plays fellow Czech lefty and No.6 seed Petra Kvitova, who beat Barbora Zahlavova Strycova in straight sets in Tuesday's other quarterfinal. She is 0-5 against Kvitova, though she did just push her to a third set tie-break two weeks ago in Eastbourne.

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