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Makarova 1st to Australian Open semifinals, beats Halep

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Ekaterina Makarova raced to a 3-0 lead in the first nine minutes of the match and beat third-seeded Simona Halep 6-4, 6-0 in the first quarterfinal at the Australian Open on Tuesday.

The win in just 68 minutes under cool, sunny skies at Melbourne Park advanced the Russian player to a semifinal against either Maria Sharapova or Eugenie Bouchard, who played the next match on Rod Laver Arena.

It will be Makarova’s second consecutive Grand Slam semifinal. She made her first major semi at last year’s U.S. Open, losing to Serena Williams after beating Bouchard in the fourth round.

Two men’s quarterfinals were set for later Tuesday. Rafael Nadal took on Tomas Berdych and the night match saw Andy Murray play local hope Nick Kyrgios.

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