Rome, May 13 : World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty beat Veronika Kudermetova 6-3, 6-3 to reach the quarter-finals of Italian Open tennis on Thursday. She will now face Coco Gauff, who beat last week's Madrid Open champion Aryna Sabalenka 7-5, 6-3.
Ashleigh's 27th win of the season took her one-hour and 21 minutes as she entered the last eight in Rome for the first time in her career.
In other pre-quarterfinals, Jelena Ostapenko beat Angelique Kerber 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 while Karolina Pliskova defeated Vera Zvonareva 7-5, 6-3.
"I think once I walked out there, it was a bit of a 'wow' factor. Pretty impressive centre court, took some time to get used to that," Ashleigh told the media after playing her first match on the centre court here.
Twenty winners by Ashleigh, including nine aces, and four breaks of serve helped her ease past the Russian.
"Coco has shown that she loves to bring her best tennis against the players that challenge her the most. She's played an exceptional tournament thus far. She's got the ability to take the game on. She's aggressive, she can run, she can trust her legs," Ashleigh said on her next challenge.
In another match, Iga Swiatek saved two match points to overhaul Barbora Krejcikova 3-6, 7-6(5), 7-5 in two hours and 50 minutes and reach her second quarterfinal of the season.