The Italian Open now has No.1 seed Simona Halep, No.2 seed Karolina Pliskova, No.9 seed Garbiñe Muguruza, and Marketa Vondrousova to complete the last four of the competition in Rome.
Simona Halep vs Yulia Putintseva
Halep easily made it through to the semis to preserve her perfect record in Internazionali BNL d’Italia quarterfinals after Yulia Putintseva retired due to a lower back injury trailing 6-2, 2-0 after 47 minutes.
The Romanian in each of her four previous visits to the last eight here had navigated the quarter-finals successfully. She reached the semifinals in 2013 and 2015 and was runner-up to Elina Svitolina in 2017 and 2018. But on Saturday, Halep gained the upper hand in a high-quality contest which forced Putintseva to retire after 47 minutes of play.
Watch the highlights between Halep and Putinseva below
Karolina Pliskova vs Elise Mertens
No.2 seed Karolina Pliskova marched past No.11 seed Elise Mertens in their quarter-final match up to take another step toward her Rome title defence after correcting a mid-match wobble.
Pliskova didn’t have it easy though as she faced resistance from Mertens who made her way back to send them into a decider after Pliskova had looked to be in control to take the opening set.
She, however, managed to reel off the next six games to reach her second semifinal of the year, 6-3, 3-6, 6-0.
Watch the highlights of the match between Pliskova and Mertens below
Garbiñe Muguruza vs Victoria Azarenka
In the third quarter-final match between two former World No. 1s, No.9 seed Garbiñe Muguruza joined Halep and Pliskova in the semis after a hard-fought 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory over Victoria Azarenka in over two hours and 19 minutes of play.
The result marks Muguruza’s belated revenge for the pair’s only previous completed match, a superb 7-6(6), 7-6(4) win for Azarenka in the fourth round of Miami 2016.
Garbiñe Muguruza came from a set and a break down to reach her third Italian Open semi-final at the expense of Azarenka.
Muguruza after the match says: “I think it was a tough match. I knew it was going to be a tough match. She’s a good player, she’s playing good, she’s with a lot of confidence.
“I knew it was going to be a tough battle. I was ready for it. I stood behind her and waited for my opportunities. She was playing great at the beginning. She took the first set. I kept myself together and said, ‘Okay, let’s start another battle in the second set.”
She will next battle Simona Halep for a spot in the finals in Rome.
Watch the match highlights below
Marketa Vondrousova vs Elina Svitolina
In the epic match of the last eight, Czech left-hander Marketa Vondrousova, after over a year of trying, finally secured her first Top 10 victory on Saturday at the Rome Masters with a 6-3, 6-0 victory over No.4 seed Elina Svitolina in the quarterfinals.
The 21-year-old needed 80 minutes to stun the two-time champion to advance to her first semifinal since her exploits in Paris last year.
After playing in a marathon 6-1, 1-6, 7-6(5) three-setter on Friday which she won against Polona Hercog in the third round, the Czech looked fresh less than 24 hours later against the World No.6 and revealed that she overcame the quick turnaround to play her best after the match.
“I finished at midnight yesterday, so it was kind of tough and I didn’t sleep much. I think I played an amazing match today. I didn’t even expect this, but I’m just happy to be through and happy with this win,” Vondrousova says.
“I didn’t do so many errors, and I hit so many great drop shots. I also served really well, and overall, I think I played a great match today.
“She’s a great player and she beat me three times already. She’s a great runner, she hits hard and serves really well, but I think I just played better today.”
Watch the stunning upset Vondrousova pulled against Svitolina below
Italian Open 2020 semi-final draw
- Simona Halep vs Garbine Muguruza
- Karolina Pliskova vs Marketa Vondrousova