Ekaterina Makarova claimed a maiden Australian Open semi-final berth, after dispatching of a tight Simona Halep on Tuesday.

Third seed Halep was off her game, and Makarova pounced to run away with a 6-4 6-0 victory in one hour and nine minutes on Rod Laver Arena.

The result marks consecutive major semis for Makarova, the 10th seed having also reached the last four at the US Open in September.

Coming into the contest, Halep had won 18 consecutive sets - including her near-flawless run to the title in Shenzhen in January - but her centre-court performance was lacklustre, at best.

Makarova, meanwhile, was full value for her victory - serving at 75 per cent, and the quality of her ball impressed too.

Swinging serves down the middle were too tough for Halep to handle at times, and Makarova's second ball also saw her win 10 of 15 points when she needed it, which was not often.

Halep, meanwhile, was left to rue 31 unforced errors - several of which were produced at all the wrong moments in games.

Makarova won the toss and elected to receive - the decision paying immediate dividends when she reeled off four straight points to break.

In holding for a 2-0 lead, Makarova thrice got a net cord - two times the ball landed in, and one out - in a sign of how flat she was hitting the ball.

Halep, meanwhile, was battling just to make in-roads - and from 30-15 up in game three she went double-fault, double-fault and missed swinging volley to hand Makarova a double-break lead.

Makarova staved off Halep's challenge to break in the sixth and eighth games, surviving deuce scorelines - and one break point - to stay ahead at 5-3.

Halep saved a set point with necessary aggression in the ninth game and forced Makarova to serve for the first set.

And, not before Halep saved another set point, Makarova took the opener - her superior first-serve percentage (69 to 53) influential.

Makarova was able to produce some near unplayable serves down the centre on the deuce court.

And that service disparity was further highlighted when Halep went from game point up to break point down by means of back-to-back double faults, and a missed forehand down the line handed Makarova the break early in the second set.

In a 0-40 hole in the next game, Makarova served her way out of trouble - and from the third deuce, Halep produced a couple of unforced errors to ease the pressure on her opponent.

More tight ground strokes cost Halep a 3-0 deficit in the second set, and the way Makarova had been serving, the double-break lead was a match-winning one.

Halep, over-hitting for the most part, changed tact - two drop-shot winners earned her a break point, but Makarova continued to land swinging first serves that troubled the Romanian's return game.

She eventually wrapped up a second-set bagel in 30 minutes, to dismiss the third seed.