With seeds being scattered like confetti, the stoic Russian Ekaterina Makarova is making progress under the radar. This is, of course since her second second-round victory over Caroline Wozniacki in a Slam within a year. Makarova has shown that the Wozniacki victory was no fluke and looked good in defeating Lucie Safarova last round.
Makarova Needs to work on Converting Break Point Chances
Makarova’s solid shot-building earns her break points. Work is needed on converting these. In her three matches at Wimbledon 2018, Makarova’s break point conversion stands at a conservative 44% (11/25). The figures are skewed by the topsy-turvy Wozniacki encounter, in which Makarova converted 5/14 break point chances. It’s not often Wozniacki gives up that many opportunities. Tightening up that conversion rate would put Makarova up there as a contender.
Makarova now Seen as Accomplished Singles Player
A multiple Slam winner in doubles, the two handed-backhander has often, some commentators feel, distracted herself by doubles–arguably to the detriment of her singles career. The 30-year-old now seems to have the right balance and is widely viewed as an accomplished singles player. A Slam final at the least is what Makarova deserves for her undoubted talent. This tournament seemingly represents her best chance at achieving this.
Camila Giorgi up next for Makarova
The popular Italian Camila Giorgi stands between Makarova and only her second quarterfinal in what is now her 12th Wimbledon. There is no head-to-head between this pair. Although, a tentative link through Wozniacki–who has beaten Giorgi (on grass) recently but lost to Makarova–gives hope for Makarova fans.
Serena Williams or Rodina Await in the Quarterfinal
Should Makarova navigate through the tough Italian, then it’s countrywoman Evgeniya Rodina or Serena Williams next. Makarova trails Williams 1-5 in previous meetings, but they have never met on grass. There is no better time to face Serena Williams than now, with the American’s shoulder still being a cause for concern. The head-to-head is not a worry. Before last year’s US Open Makarova trail Wozniacki 0-7; the record is now 2-7. Makarova has beaten Rodina in their only previous meeting.
Makarova is now 3-2 for the season on grass. The Russian was winless coming into this, but she is a momentum player and she now has just that.
Makarova will be Quietly Confident with each Match that Passes
It’s been a funny women’s Wimbledon so far with some surprising results. The Russian is growing in confidence with each win. Makarova has focus areas, but it would be unwise to count her out of the reckoning.
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