World number one Iga Swiatek continued her dominant streak at the Italian Open by beating Croatia’s Donna Vekic to reach the quarter-finals.
Swiatek, 21, is bidding for a third successive title in Rome and, despite some unconvincing moments against 24th seed Vekic, won 6-3 6-4.
The three-time major champion has won her past 14 matches on the Rome clay.
She will put that record on the line when she faces Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina in the quarter-finals.
In a last-16 match pushed back to Tuesday after Monday’s rain in Rome, Swiatek was far from her best and particularly struggled with her forehand.
But she had enough quality to edge past Vekic, who had chances to make the scoreline closer but could take only one of her seven break points.
“Donna is an experienced player and can play really well on most surfaces. She put on a lot of pressure but I’m happy to handle it and come through,” Swiatek said.
On facing Kazakhstan’s Rybakina, who has beaten her twice this season, next, she added: “It is not going to be easy, she is in great shape this season, it will be challenging. But I’m ready for it and comfortable on clay.”
Spain’s Paula Badosa continued her good form with a 6-4 6-7 (4-7) 6-2 win over Karolina Muchova of the Czech Republic and will face former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko next.
Russia’s Veronika Kudermetova beat China’s Qinwen Zheng 3-6 6-3 6-4 to set up a semi-final meeting against Ukrainian Anhelina Kalinina.
Kalinina was within two points of defeat before beating Brazil’s Beatriz Haddad Maia 6-7 (2-7) 7-6 (8-6) 6-3 over three hours and 41 minutes.
Both players were tearful as they embraced at the net, with Kalinina thanking the crowd for their support of both players.