Ekaterina Makarova reached her first Grand Slam semifinal, beating Victoria Azarenka in straight sets at the U.S. Open.
The 26-year-old Russian won 6-4, 6-2 on Wednesday after losing her previous four major quarterfinals. The players were 16th and 17th in the seedings but came in with very different resumes.
Azarenka is a two-time Australian Open champ who lost to Serena Williams in the last two U.S. Open finals. But her ranking slipped after a season interrupted by injuries.
She often looked shaky against qualifier Aleksandra Krunic but eked out a three-set victory. But on Wednesday, Makarova took full advantage of her mistakes.
Unusually subdued for most of the match, Azarenka smashed her racket after an unforced error gave Makarova a break and a 4-2 lead in the second set.