Only Kvitova upset
May 18, 2012 | 10:16 PM
In the expected results today, all delivered in straight sets, the favorites had their A games all working from the start and as the going got tougher:
- While Rafa was broken for the first time in Rome, by Berdych at 2-4 in the first set, he broke back in a long game at 5-4, with shot-making from Rafa on the run as good as ever; Berdych had very little success at the net, whereas Rafa came in with effectiveness when he was down 0-30 on his own serve at 4-4. This was the cleanest tennis seen from Rafa against a top player since Monte Carlo, though Berdych continued to make him work in the 2nd set, which Rafa won 7-5.
- Joker also started the match with a break of #5 Tsonga and went up 3-0, but made enough errors to allow the #5 seed back in the set; the two traded breaks again before Joker took over and won 7-5. Tsonga won only 11 points in losing the 2nd set 1-6. Joker served 5 aces to Tsonga's 3, an unusual reversal. Jo put in a high percentage (75%) of first serves, but only won 55%.
- Ferrer took care of #16 Gasquet for the 7th time in 8 meetings, 7-6(4), 6-3.
- Federer defeated Seppi 6-1, 6-2.
- Serena benefitted a second time from a player's misfortune when Pennetta retired after 4 games.
- Sharapova defeated Venus 6-4, 6-3.
- Na Li defeated Cibulkova 6-1, 7-6 (4), and will face Serena in the semi's.
The one upset of the day didn't seem like such an upset, really: Angelique Kerber, who's been hot this year, defeated Kvitova, who's not been hot, 7-6 (2), 1-6, 6-1. She may a match for Maria tomorrow.
Saturday Order of Play:
Start 12:00 noon
 Na Li (CHN) v  Serena Williams (USA)
Not Before 1:30 PM
 Angelique Kerber (GER) v  Maria Sharapova (RUS)
Not Before 4:00 PM
 David Ferrer (ESP) v  Rafael Nadal (ESP)
Not Before 8:00 PM
 Novak Djokovic (SRB) v  Roger Federer (SUI)
Rome 5.18.12 Results