Maria Sharapova against Russia.

The back story is ridiculous - the stories of father Yuri abusing Fed Cup team-mates leaving Sharapova with few-to-nil friends bearing the same flag on tour.

The on-court side of things sees an even less-friendly beast, the numbers spelling a hunger to put her countrywomen to the sword.

Coming into her sixth match against Makarova, Sharapova led 5-0 in the head-to-head contests.

She had won 42 of her past 50 against Russians. Take the previous 25 contests, add another 20 wins to the column.

Sharapova added another convincing win to the already-unbalanced ledger on Thursday, in a grand slam semi-final, no less.

Makarova is a quality over quantity type of player - no 200km/h aces, very few return-of-serve winners, but just consistent, quality ground-strokes, and precision swinging serves.

Unfortunately, though, when that quality dips, there is no go-to shot Makarova can lean on, no backhand slice to revert to.

On Thursday, Sharapova's literal and metaphorical grunt took Makarova to the cleaners - making a mockery of the fact the pair are numbers one and two in Russia.

It is not to say Makarova has no fight, she simply lacks the intensity of Sharapova - and could only beat a player of her quality if there was a drop from the other side of the net (see her quarter-final against Simona Halep).

Fifteen first-set winners to five, and 23-11 for the match, Sharapova was so comfortable in dispatching of an opponent who had given short shrift to five players throughout the fortnight.

Sharapova's performance was as cold and calculated as the handshake at the net afterwards.

Queen of the court, Sharapova has no time for her countrywomen.