This content was published 7 years ago. It may refer to a past edition of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia.
Maria Sharapova ignored some tough conditions to claim a 63 63 victory over Bojana Jovanovski, the qualifier from Serbia, but then insisted she was not thinking about how the withdrawal of Serena Williams would impact her.
The Russian will not have to play another seed until the final after the American opted not to play her third round match with Christina McHale. But Sharapova’s only thoughts are on next opponent Victoria Azarenka after surviving a windy Centre Court.
“Today I just had to be very patient and solid,” she said. “I had a tricky opponent and obviously not in easy conditions, the wind was pretty swirly out on the court so I just had to stay steady. Despite a couple of breaks back and forth in the second set I was really happy to finish it strong.
“Regarding Serena, she’s not my next round opponent so I’m thinking about the next round opponent rather than what is ahead of that.
“I’ve had great success here. I’ve had phenomenal memories, I think that the passion that the spectators show is really incredible and I think as an athlete that is very special to be part of that crowd and play in front of people that are really enthusiastic to watch you play.”
Azarenka won a late night match 61 in the final set against Irina-Camellia Begu to set up the quarter-final meeting with Sharapova.
World number two Simona Halep had a comfortable afternoon as she comfortably saw off the challenge of veteran Venus Williams 62 61 in just over an hour. Next for Halep is qualifier Alexandra Dulgheru who shocked eighth seed Ekaterina Makarova 63 64.
One of the most exciting matches of this year’s Internazionali BNL d’Italia came Spanish tenth seed Cara Suarez Navarro beat sixth seed from Canada Eugenie Bouchard 67(2) 75 76(7) in a match lasting over three hours. Bouchard had failed to serve for the match three times during the contest.
Qualifier Daria Gavrilova is also in the quarter-finals having beaten Timea Bacsinszky 64 76(0).
Fourth seed Petra Kvitova safely beat Jelena Jankovic 63 62.