Sharapova too good for Gavrilova in Rome

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Daria Gavrilova proved no match for Maria Sharapova in their Italian Open round-of-16 clash in Rome

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

Gavrilova got off to a slow start after her late-finishing win over Garbine Muguruza and trained 5-1 in the opener before saving three set points to pull a game back but five-time major winner Sharapova soon regained the ascendancy.

Even though the victory was not as clean as possible, Sharapova saw the glass half-full.

"I just like the way that I'm competing." she told the WTA's website.

"I like the way that I feel out there. I think that's really important, you know ... I just like the attitude with which I'm playing with."

Sharapova will face French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko in the quarter-finals in their first-ever meeting.

Ostapenko won through by beating Johanna Konta - who was celebrating her 27th birthday - 2-6 6-3 6-4.

"I've seen quite a bit," said Sharapova of her quarter-final opponent.

"There's something that really comes out from her on this surface, which she's able to do really well."

Earlier, defending champion Elina Svitolina continued her title defence after battling back from a set down to beat Daria Kasatkina.

Ukraine's world No.4 secured a 0-6 6-3 6-2 victory in a hard-fought contest to reach the quarter-finals.

Angelique Kerber will be Svitolina's opponent in the last eight after the German former world No.1 dispatched Maria Sakkari of Greece 6-1 6-1.

Top-ranked Simona Halep will likely maintain her status after she entered the quarter-finals without hitting a ball.

Her opponent Madison Keys withdrew from their match earlier in the morning due to a right rib injury.

Halep, runner-up last year in Rome, will next play Caroline Garcia, who knocked out Sloane Stephens 6-1 7-6 (9-7).

And eighth seed Venus Williams fell to Anett Kontaveit 6-2 7-6 (7-3), for her second defeat by the Estonian in as many weeks after losing to her in Madrid.