Ekaterina Makarova wants Maria Sharapova in quarter-finals

Russia's Ekaterina Makarova celebrates winning the first set against Angelique Kerber in the fourth round of the Australian Open tennis championship on January 20, 2013
© AP Photos
Ekaterina Makarova says that she is relishing the prospect of playing Maria Sharapova in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open.

Australian Open quarter-finalist Ekaterina Makarova has said that she is better prepared for her last-eight encounter than she was last year.

The Russian triumphed 7-5 6-4 over German fifth seed Angelique Kerber to set up a match with either Maria Sharapova or Kirsten Flipkens.

Makarova also reached the quarter-final in Melbourne last year before losing out to Sharapova.

However, the 24-year-old is confident of producing a better performance this time around.

"It's an unbelievable feeling," said Makarova. "I really like to play here, everything is so perfect. My team did a really nice job.

"Last year I was so surprised [to reach the quarter-finals] and had so may thoughts on my mind. This year, I'm a little bit used to it.

"I think I'll be ready to play a good game."

When asked about the prospect of a rematch with Sharapova, the Moscow native replied: "I think it will be really interesting and I really want to play against her."

Makarova has never been beyond the fourth round of any other Grand Slam.

Russia's Ekaterina Makarova celebrates winning the first set against Angelique Kerber in the fourth round of the Australian Open tennis championship on January 20, 2013
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