Ninth-seeded Serena Williams has advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2012 Internazionali BNL d'Italia, after Italy's Flavia Pennetta was forced to retire in their quarterfinals match after trailing Serena 4-0. Serena is currently on a 17-match winning streak. Serena moves on to face the number eight seed, China's Li Na, in the semis, a 6-1, 7-6(4) winner over Slovakian Dominika Cibulkova.
“I definitely have developed a lot of confidence on clay and I like it – well I have always liked it – its only I haven't won a lot of tournaments on it," said Serena. "But now I'm getting more wins!”
Luck was not on the side of Serena's sister Venus, who advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6-4, 6-3 win over the fifth-seeded Samantha Stosur, but fell in the quarters to second seeded Maria Sharapova, 6-4, 6-3. Sharapova awaits the winner of the quarterfinals match between Petra Kvitova and Angelique Kerber for her semis opponent.
"I am very happy with the way I played today," said the world number two-ranked Sharapova after her match with Venus. "I haven't played Venus in a long time, and in the last few times I played with her I lost but is obviously good to be in the semifinals here and this point in every match is very tough."