Williams dominates Kuznetsova, Muguruza reaches first semi of the season


Svetlana Kuznetsova was no match for Serena Williams as the world number one cruised into the Internazionali d'Italia semi-finals on Friday.

Williams was in control from the start and strolled to a 6-2 6-0 victory in Rome, atoning somewhat for her shock defeat to the Russian in Miami earlier this year.

Irina-Camelia Begu awaits in the last four after the Romanian overcame Misaki Doi 6-2 7-6 (7-3), while Garbine Muguruza maintained her charge by beating Timea Bacsinszky 7-5 6-2.

After initially struggling to impose herself on the match, Muguruza eventually edged clear to set up a semi-final clash with Madison Keys.

Keys' quarter-final with Barbora Strycova went the distance, with the American eventually coming out on top in a 6-4 4-6 6-3 triumph.



Williams had appeared sluggish in her third-round victory over Christina McHale on Thursday and it later emerged the top seed was feeling the effects of her overwhelming curiosity to sample dog food.

"I just ran to the toilet like I thought I was going to pass out. It did taste weird. It tasted kind of like house cleaner," she said of the experience.

The impact of Williams' bizarre snack appeared to have eased as she swept Kuznetsova aside on Friday, under the watchful eye of her - presumably hungry - pet dog, Chip.

One spectator was clearly not bothered by Williams' new experimental diet, shouting a marriage proposal from the stands.



Begu has been in superb form this week and has not dropped a set on her way to a first WTA Premier 5 semi-final.

Japan's Doi became her latest victim but it was not all plain sailing for the world number 35.

After comfortably taking the first set, Begu had to come from 3-1 down in the second to seal a memorable win.



Last year's beaten Wimbledon finalist is yet to feature in a semi-final this season, but ended that wait with victory over Bacsinszky.

"Obviously I didn't have the results I had last year, but I'm doing exactly the same: practicing hard, getting ready and fit to get those good results, and that's why this week is happening," Muguruza said.

Muguruza meets Keys in the last four.