Italian Open: Maria Sharapova enters semi-finals after defeating Jelena Ostapenko
Former world number one Maria Sharapova reached the Italian Open semi-finals after defeating Jelena Ostapenko 6-7 (6/8), 6-4, 7-5 on Friday.
The battle between the two French Open champions lasted for more than three hours.
Playing her fourth match in as many days, Sharapova needed three hours, 10 minutes to win a gruelling struggle.
Now, Sharapova will either play against current world number one Simona Halep or Caroline Garcia in the semis.
Nadal needs to win the Rome title on Sunday to displace Roger Federer as world number one.
The 31-year-old Spaniard recovered from losing a lengthy first set before breezing through the quarter-final tie for the loss of just three more games.