Defending champion Amelie Mauresmo of France and world number two Maria Sharapova of Russia have reached the semifinals of the Italian Masters clay-court tennis tournament in Rome.

Mauresmo, the second seed, scored a straight-set win over Spanish veteran Conchita Martinez, 6-1, 6-2.

In the final four, Mauresmo takes on Russian Vera Zvonareva. The sixth-seeded Russian defeated Italy's Francesca Schiavone in straight sets, 7-5, 7-6.

Meanwhile, Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova of Russia took just 63 minutes to beat countrywoman Elena Bovina, 6-2, 6-2.  Sharapova could take the world number one ranking from American Lindsay Davenport if she wins this tournament. 

The Russian teenager faces either Patty Schnyder of Switzerland or Evgenia Linetskaya of Russia in Saturday's semifinals. The clay-court tournament is a key warm-up for this month's French Open, which starts May 23 in Paris.

Some information for this report provided by AP.