Despite the heavily-hyped return of Serena Williams to the WTA Tour, it's the more under-the-radar players who are impressing in Rome. Jelena Jankovic and Yanina Wickmayer were expected to be caught in a closely played match, but their encounter turned out to be completely one-sided, as the 7th seeded Jankovic blew the 11th-seeded Wickmayer off the court, 6-2, 6-0. Another Serb, Ana Ivanovic, proved just how far a slight ounce of confidence can take you, as the former number 1 followed up her win over Victoria Azarenka with a straight-set victory against Elena Dementieva. Nadia Petrova fought hard to earn a 3-set win over Alexandra Dulgheru while Lucie Safarova upset Agnieszka Radwanksa 7-6 (1) in the third.
Both Serena and her sister Venus reached the quarterfinals on Wednesday, and with one more win by each, could face off in the semis. Serena took out Andrea Petkovic 6-2, 3-6, 6-0 in an erratic performance that the American described as "rusty". Venus, on the other hand, had a much easier time, defeating Shahar Peer 3 and 4. Maria Kirilenko dropped the first set against Dominika Cibulkova only to come roaring back, taking the next two 6-1. In the biggest story of the day, Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez shocked Caroline Wozniacki 6-4, 6-2.