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By Erik Gudris | Friday, August 1, 2014

Ekaterina Makarova

Ekaterina Makarova defeated one fellow Russian to set up a semifinal with another countrywoman at the Citi Open in Washington D.C.

Photo Credit: Getty

Russia's Ekaterina Makarova, the highest ranked woman left in the women's draw, returned to the Citi Open semifinals in Washington, D.C.

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To get there, Makarova battled a fellow countrywoman Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in a hard fought quarterfinal.

Both players didn't give up much in a tight first set that resulted in a tiebreak. Makarova forced the issue against Pavlyuchenkova in their extended rallies and soon pocketed the set 7-6(3).

Makarova broke serve early in the second set and almost secured a 5-1 lead. Pavlyuchenkova fought off going down another break with a service hold and almost broke back herself to get the set nearly on level terms. Yet, once again, the No. 2 seed Makarova had the last answer.

Claiming the final game, Makarova celebrated the 7-6(3), 6-3 that puts her back into the event's semifinal for a second straight year.

"Today was really tough match from beginning until the end. We were fighting every game, every point, running so much. It was really difficult because we are both Russian and we practice a lot in Moscow. I'm really happy in the important moments I was more solid and more confident," Makarova said after the win.

Next up, another Russian in No. 6 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova.

The former US Open champion advanced with a walkover after Vania King withdrew from their match with a right hip injury. D.C. is now the second semi this season for Kuznetsova.

Makarova knows playing Kuznetsova will be yet another tough test.

"Well she's amazing, great player, great person and won a couple of Grand Slams. I beat her once and I have good memories. We'll see what happens tomorrow and I will try to show my best tennis."

The second semifinal features a pair of unseeded players.

Japan's Kurumi Nara knocked out France's Kristina Mladenovic 6-3, 6-1. D.C. marks the first semifinal for Nara since she won the Rio De Janeiro title back in February.

Marina Erakovic beat Bojana Jovanovski 6-4, 6-4 in their quarterfinal. She'll face Nara for a third career meeting but for the first time in a main draw match.


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