Wed05242017

LAST_UPDATEWed, 24 May 2017 1pm

Italian Open: Johanna Konta Beaten By Venus Williams As Novak Djokovic Through

British number one Johanna Konta lost to Venus Williams in the last 16 of the Italian Open in Rome.

The 26-year-old world number six recovered from a set down to level but American Williams, 36, dominated the final set to win 6-1 3-6 6-1.

Seven-time champion Rafael Nadal reached the last eight of the men's event by beating Jack Sock 6-4 6-3.

Serbia's Novak Djokovic is also through after defeating Spain's Roberto Bautista-Agut 6-4 6-4.

However, world number three Stan Wawrinka suffered a 7-6 (7-1) 6-4 loss to big-serving American John Isner.

Konta fightback falls short

Fifth seed Konta had won her past three encounters with Williams, but the veteran controlled proceedings from the baseline, taking the first set in just over half an hour.

Konta rallied and won three straight games to claim the second set but Williams responded with another double break in the third to secure victory.

Williams, who has won seven Grand Slam singles titles, will take on Spain's Garbine Muguruza in the quarter-finals, after the 2016 French Open champion saw off Germany's Julia Gorges 7-5 6-4.

Elsewhere, Estonian qualifier Anett Kontaveit backed up her shock win over world number one Angelique Kerber on Wednesday by beating 16th seed Croatian Mirjana Lucic-Baroni 6-1 6-1.

Kontaveit will face sixth seed Simona Halep in the quarter-finals, after the Romanian beat Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-1 4-6 6-0.

Unseeded Daria Gavrilova stunned Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia 2-6 7-5 6-4 to reach the last eight, where she will play Kiki Bertens - a 7-6 (7-3) 6-1 winner over Russia's Ekaterina Makarova.

Ukraine's Elina Svitolina beat Germany's Mona Barthel 3-6 6-0 6-0 to set up a tie with second seed Karolina Pliskova, after the Czech came through 6-1 7-5 against Switzerland's Timea Bacsinszky.

Djokovic and Nadal through as Wawrinka stunned

Nadal, 30, converted all three of his break points to end Sock's challenge in one hour and 20 minutes and set up a meeting with Austria's Dominic Thiem - a rematch of the Madrid Open final that the Spaniard won to enter the world's top four.

Thiem, 23, saved three match points to overcome American Sam Querrey 3-6 6-3 7-6 (9-7).

World number two Djokovic, 29, broke clay-court specialist Bautista Agut in the seventh game to take the first set before also breaking the Spaniard early in the second set.

Bautista Agut broke back and won three straight games, with Djokovic involved in an angry exchange with the umpire after being given a time violation.

However, the French Open champion rallied to reclaim the break and close out the match to set up a quarter-final against Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro, who saw off Japan's Kei Nishikori 7-6 (7-4) 6-3.

Switzerland's Wawrinka had no answer to the impressive serving of Isner, losing a first-set tie break 7-1 before falling to a straight-set defeat.

Unseeded Isner sent down 19 aces and landed 84% of his first serves as he set up a last-eight tie against Croatia's Marin Cilic, who beat Belgium's David Goffin 6-3 6-4.

Earlier, Germany's Alexander Zverev secured a 6-1 6-1 victory over Italy's Fabio Fognini, who beat world number one Andy Murray in round two.

Zverev will face fifth seed Milos Raonic in the last eight, after the Canadian beat Czech Tomas Berdych 6-3 6-2.

-BBC