Italian Open: Venus Williams downs Konta

Venus Williams defeated Johanna Konta 6-1, 3-6, 6-1 to enter the quarterfinals of the Italian Open in Rome on Thursday.

Venus Williams returns to Johanna Konta during their match at the Italian Open on Thursday.   -  AP

Venus Williams defeated Johanna Konta 6-1, 3-6, 6-1 to enter the quarterfinals of the Italian Open in Rome on Thursday.

Konta had won her previous three meetings against Williams but the American dominated the first set. Although Konta rallied in the second, another double break in the third handed Williams victory.

Williams will take on Garbine Muguruza after the 2016 French Open champion beat Julia Gorges 7-5, 6-4.

“I love this tournament, and I love Rome,” Williams said. “It’s one of my favorite places on earth, so that’s one of the reasons why I have always come here.

“You know, I have had a good amount of success here.”

Estonian qualifier Anett Kontaveit, who beat top—ranked Angelique Kerber in the second round, continued her dream debut. Kontaveit beat 16th—seeded Mirjana Lucic—Baroni 6-1, 6-1 to set up a quarterfinal against Madrid Open champion Simona Halep.

“I’m just really trying to take it match by match and setting these really small goals,” the 21—year—old Kontaveit said.

Sixth-seeded Halep beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-1, 4-6, 6-0.

Qualifier Daria Gavrilova beat seventh—seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova 2-6, 7-5, 6-4 and Kiki Bertens won 7-6 (3), 6-1 over Russia’s Ekaterina Makarova.