Williams is bidding for her third consecutive U.S. Open title and 18th career grand slam victory. But having lost to the left-handed Russian at the 2012 Australian Open, she knows not to take anything for granted.
“She’s beaten me before,” the 32-year-old American said of her 17th-seeded opponent. “She moves well, doesn’t care (about reputations), she gives 100 percent.
“It’s going to be interesting for me to do the best that I can because she has a lot of momentum going into this match as well.”
Having failed to reach the quarter-finals at any of the other three grand slam events this year, Williams joked that reaching the last four in New York was already a success.
“Realising that I don’t have to win anymore, so everything now is just extra,” she said. “That also helps.”
Makarova beat seventh-seeded Canadian Eugenie Bouchard and Belarussian 16th seed Victoria Azarenka en route to her first grand slam semi-final and is also in the women’s doubles final.
“I’m trying to stay in the shade and to be in my world,” she said. “But I’m really enjoying playing on the big stage and the big courts with all this crowd. I’m feeling differently than in other places.
“I feel that I’m ready. I’m feeling good in my game and mentally and I believe in myself. I was feeling that I can do more than quarters.”
Friday’s other semi-final will pit Danish 10th seed Caroline Wozniacki, a former world number one, against unseeded Peng Shuai of China.
For Wozniacki, it’s her first grand slam semi-final since the 2012 U.S. Open while Peng is into her first semi-final in what is her 37th grand slam-Reuters