Opening proceedings on Rod Laver Arena on Day 7 of the Australian Open were the Russian 19th seed Ekaterina Makarova and the German 5th seed Angelique Kerber. Both lefties, these two hit powerful serves and great groundies, so a good match was anticipated – and a good match it turned out to be. The first set was a battle of service breaks, but Makarova managed to get to 5-2 with her serve to come. The feisty German came back at her, winning three games to level, but Makarova, who reached the quarters last year, steeled her nerves and served out for 7-5 on her third set point. Games went with serve in the second set until Makarova broke in the 9th game and served an ace at 40-0 to take the set 6-4 and book her place in the quarters.
Second seed Maria Sharapova of Russia also played on Rod Laver Arena, against 43rd ranked Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium. Sharapova ran out a 6-1 6-0 winner, but the score line is no reflection of the match. Flipkens, just five foot five, should take solace from the few unusual records she created in this match. She was the first player in this year’s tournament who did not allow Sharapova a single love game; she took her to two very long games – her first of the match which lasted more than five minutes and the 4th game of the first set, which lasted twelve minutes; and she held her first game against the powerful Russian. Sharapova will next play Makarova – in a repeat of last year’s quarter final between the two.