Britain's Johanna Konta was knocked out of the Internazionali BNL d'Italia after succumbing to a three-set defeat to Venus Williams in Rome.
Williams, a seven-time major winner, outlasted Konta despite the British No 1 fighting back to take the second set only for the ninth seed to run away with the third eventually winning 6-1 3-6 6-1.
The American will next meet Garbine Muguruza, current French Open holder, in the quarter-finals after the Spanish world No 7 progressed past Germany's Julia Goerges 7-5, 6-4 on Thursday.
Simona Halep, the tournament's sixth seed beat Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-1 4-6 6-0 after overcoming a competitive second set loss to book a quarter-final meeting with qualifier Anett Kontaveit.
Kontaveit backed up her impressive victory over world No 1 Angelique Kerber with another dominating performance in her resounding 6-1 6-1 victory over Croatia's Mirjana Lucic-Baroni.
Elsewhere Daria Gavrilova surprised seventh seed Svetlana Kuznetsova over three sets winning 2-6 7-5 6-4.
The Australian will next meet in-form 15th seed Kiki Bertens who defeated Russia's Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) 7-6 6-1 at Foro Italico.
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