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Anett Kontaveit defeated Venus Williams for the second time in 12 days when she recorded a 6-2 7-6(3) triumph over the 1999 champion on Court Centrale.
The Estonian recorded her first victory over the No. 8 seed in Madrid last week and levelled their head-to-head with a second – more straightforward – win on the clay at the Foro Italico.
Kontaveit was on form from the outset, firing winners from all over the court as she produced a confident display to claim the opening set. Williams took an early lead for 3-0 in the second, before the 22-year-old’s backhand came up trumps, helping her to recover the break and then kept her in the contest as a tight battle ensued at the end of the second set.
The world No. 26 remained focused throughout the tiebreak, playing some excellent tennis to create a 6-0 lead. While Williams claimed the next three points it was not enough to prevent Kontaveit from taking the win and booking her spot in the quarterfinals for the second straight year.
Up next for Kontaveit will be the winner of the night match between No. 2 seed Caroline Wozniacki and No. 15 seed Anastasija Sevastova.