The top seeds at the Rome Masters rolled into the quarterfinals on Friday.
Seeds went 6-2 on the day led by former French Open winners Simona Halep and Garbine Muguruza.
Halep overcame a break deficit in the first to beat Ukrainian youngster Dayana Yastremska 7-5, 6-4.
“It was not easy against her because you don’t really have the rhythm,” said Halep. “She hits it very strong and it’s tough to return her balls. After I lost the first three games, I just had to focus a little bit better and stop giving her the balls that she likes.
“I tried to change it up a little bit, make her move, [hit balls] a little bit high. I think during the match I found some solutions that were good to win. I’m very pleased with the way I moved… and also the serve helped me a lot today. In important moments, I served very well and I won some easy games on my serve. The return was not bad because she has a very good serve.
Halep will test Yulia Putintseva who upended Elena Rybakina in three.
After a double bagel yesterday, Victoria Azarenka only needed 12 games again to advance. This time, her opponent, Daria Kasatinka, retired at 6-all in the first due to a right ankle injury.
“I’m really sad for Daria because we were playing such great tennis,” Azarenka said. “I felt it was such a great fight and she’s such a talented player.”
Azarenka will get Muguruza tomorrow in a great quarterfinal. Muguruza eased past Johanna Konta 6-4, 6-1.
“In terms of what I can do, I have to focus on my game,” Azarenka said looking ahead. “I think that’s what I do best, when I focus on my game and imposing my way of playing. Obviously, adjusting a little bit because of the clay, and bring a little more variety this time, but I don’t really expect tomorrow to have long rallies like today.”
French finalist Marketa Vondrousova will take on Elina Svitolina in another quarterfinal. And No. 2 seed Karolina Pliskova plays Elise Mertens after both won straight setters.
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