Johanna Konta edged out by Jelena Ostapenko in Rome

Johanna Konta edged out by Jelena Ostapenko in Rome

While Sharapova is playing well, I still need to see more from her, as she's not Sharapova from a few years back and still has issues putting away her opponents.

Daria Gavrilova's Italian Open campaign is over after the Australian fell to former world No.1 Maria Sharapova 6-3 6-4.

Next up for the 20-year-old is an intriguing clash with Maria Sharapova, a three-time victor in Rome.

Latvian fifth seed Ostapenko, 20, recovered from losing the first set to win the last-16 match 2-6 6-3 6-4 in Rome.

Not that the new one was safe from Gavrilova's frustration. She battled through three breaks before bringing together a combination of winners to hold on.

Konta, who was aiming to win three straight matches on clay for the first time, continued to go for her shots, but missed too often, and gave Ostapenko the rhythm to back her powerful baseline attack. "There's something that really comes out from her on this surface, which she's able to do really well".

The set finished in 50 minutes with Sharapova showing her poise winning 68 percent from the first serve with 22 winners.

The Aussie took the opening pair of games that almost had Sharapova wondering if this was the start to another three-setter. If Sharapova isn't on her game and ready to play a back and forth contest, she's going home. Because of that and the fighting spirit of Ostapenko, I have to fade Sharapova in this match.

Sharapova struggled at times on her own serve - getting broken four times, committing six double faults and winning just 56 per cent of her first-serve points - but her high winning percentage on second-serve points (53 per cent) allowed her to clinch a relatively routine victory. She scored a victor nailing the line bringing together a second chance which also went into the net. It came on a focused rally that Gavrilova couldn't hold throwing her racket across the court in anger. Already at the end of the first set, Ostapenko seemed to improve her energy levels and intensity, and sure enough, she began to press the Briton's serve straight away.

Sharapova had 38 winners as she prevented the third set from being played. It's not always pretty for Ostapenko and can be sloppy, but she digs deep and finds ways to win more times than not.

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