Australian Open tennis champion Serena Williams of the United States has been knocked out of the Italian Open women's clay court tournament in Rome.
Williams lost a hard-fought, three-set quarterfinal match to Switzerland's Patty Schnyder in a third-set tiebreaker 6-3, 2-6, 7-6. The win is only the second time in eight meetings that the Swiss player has beaten Williams.
In the semifinals, Schnyder will take on Serbian Jelena Jankovic, the world number-five player, who easily advanced with a 6-2, 6-1 win Friday over Elena Dementieva of Russia.
Meanwhile, second-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova beat Russian compatriot Dinara Safina in straight sets, 6-1, 6-3. Kuznetsova faces ninth-seed Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia, who scored a 7-6, 7-5 win over Anabel Medina Garrigues of Spain.
The tournament is one of the final warm-ups for the second major tournament of the year, the French Open, which starts May 27 in Paris.
In other tennis news, two former French Open winners and two men who have never won the red clay tournament have advanced to the semifinals of the Hamburg Masters Series tennis tournament in Germany.
World No. 1 Roger Federer of Switzerland scored a three-set win Friday over 12th-seeded David Ferrer of Spain, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3. Federer has never captured the French Open crown.
The Swiss player next takes on another Spaniard, 1998 French Open champ Carlos Moya, who scored a close, three-set win over fourth-seeded Novak Djokovic of Serbia, 7-6, 4-6, 7-5.
Two-time defending French Open champion Rafael Nadal of Spain easily advanced past Chilean Fernando Gonzalez 6-4, 6-4. It was the 20-year-old Spaniard's 80th straight win on clay. Nadal plays Australian Lleyton Hewitt, who scored a 6-3, 6-4 win over Nicolas Almagro of Spain.
The clay-court tournament is one of the last warm-ups before the French Open which starts May 27 in Paris.