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Russia's Makarova defeats Williams to go head-to-head with Sharapova

January 23, 2012

Russia's Ekaterina Makarova beat American tennis champion Serena Williams at the Australian Open in Melbourne. The AFP reports that 23-year-old Makarova hadn't won a high-profile match since August, but she took the victory against the world-famous player after beating her 6-2 and 6-3 in their first two matches.

Williams' defeat to Makarova, who is ranked 56th among global professional tennis players, is the first time the American has lost to a low-ranking player since 2005, according to the news source. Now Makarova will move on to the quarter finals, where she will go up against another Russian native, Maria Sharapova.

The two Russian athletes met last year in Europe, where Sharapova beat Makarova in both matches, according to Reuters. Makarova's only won one tournament in 2010 at Eastborne, but she may stand a chance this year.

Tennis fans can make calls to Russia to talk to their loved ones about Makarova and Sharapova's matchup. Many are rooting for the up-and-coming Makarova, who has never been ranked higher than 29th. Global fans have begun associating Makarova with the popular 1990 song, Macarena, but she is not a fan of the nickname.

"Because, in Russia, it's a really popular family name," she explained to Reuters. "The international people, they don't understand. that's okay. I'm used to it."

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