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.
Williams, who has won seven Grand Slam singles titles, faces Spain’s Garbine Muguruza in the quarter-finals.
Novak Djokovic is through to the last eight of the men’s event after beating Spain’s Roberto Bautista-Agut 6-4 6-4.
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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.
She will take on Muguruza 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 Pavlyuchenkova6-1 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.
Djokovic through as Wawrinka stunned
World number two Djokovic, 29, broke clay-court specialist Bautista Agut in the seventh game to take the first set 6-4 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 Serbian 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.
Seven-time champion Rafael Nadal takes on American Jack Sock in their third round tie later on Thursday.
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