Quarterfinal matches were taking place today in Rome, and most notably, top seed and world No.1 Dinara Safina survived one more three-setter, while finally-noticeable Svetlana Kuznetsova defeated two-time defending champion Jelena Jankovic.
World No.48 Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez had scored victories over Amelie Mauresmo, seed No.11 Marion Bartoli and seed No.8 Nadia Petrova prior to meeting Dinara Safina in the quarterfinals. The 26-year-old Spaniard even took the first set from Safina, and had a 3-1 lead in the second, but the master of recovery won the match 4-6 6-3 6-0.
Safina will play fourth seed Venus Williams in the semifinals. Williams advanced with her first two-setter at the tournament, beating tenth seed Agnieszka Radwanska 6-1 6-2.
Seventh-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova has been in the shadow for quite some time, but her shiny days are back as last week she won the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, and now she has reached the Internazionali BNL d’Italia semifinals taking out third seed Jelena Jankovic 6-1 7-6(3). After winning the first set, the Russian came through a nervy second-set tie break to avenge her defeat in the 2007 final.
Kuznetsova’s next opponent will be sixth seed Victoria Azarenka, who beat Kaia Kanepi 7-6(5) 6-3.