Rome, Italy (Sports Network) - Former world No. 1 Serena Williams
was an easy quarterfinal victor Friday at the $2.168 million Italian Open
tennis event, a clay-court French Open tune-up.
Fresh off her clay-court title in Madrid last week, the ninth-seeded
Williams was leading Italian crowd favorite Flavia Pennetta 4-0 in the first
set when Pennetta retired after 28 minutes of tennis, citing a right wrist
The red-hot Williams, now 17-0 on clay this year, upset current world No.
1 star Victoria Azarenka in last week's finale on the blue clay in Madrid.
The 2002 Rome champion Williams' semifinal opponent on Saturday will be
eighth-seeded Chinese star Li Na, who handled 14th-seeded Slovak Dominika
Cibulkova 6-1, 7-6 (7-4) at Foro Italico. Li is the reigning French Open
Williams is 5-1 lifetime against her fellow 30-year-old Li, including wins in
their last four matchups. The two haven't met since 2010 and have never
squared off on clay.
The 2012 Rome titlist will collect $385,000.
The Sports Network