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Rome champion Jankovic beaten by Kuznetsova

  • Story Highlights
  • Defending champion Jelena Jankovic crashes out of clay-court Rome Masters
  • Third seed Jankovic beaten in straight sets by Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova
  • World No.1 Dinara Safina fights back to defeat Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez
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(CNN) -- Two-time defending champion Jelena Jankovic has crashed out of the Rome Masters at the quarterfinal stage, beaten in straight sets by in-form Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova.

Kuznetsova is continuing the good form she showed at last week's Porsche Grand Prix in Stuttgart.

Kuznetsova is continuing the good form she showed at last week's Porsche Grand Prix in Stuttgart.

Seventh seed Kuznetsova, who came into the clay-court event on the back of victory in the Porsche Grand Prix in Stuttgart, reached the semifinals with a powerful 6-1 7-6 victory over the number three seed -- avenging her 2007 final defeat at the hands of the Serb former world No.1.

The Russian fired over 27 winners to just 12 from Jankovic, setting up a last four clash with sixth seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, who saw off Estonian 16th seed Kaia Kanepi 7-6 6-3.

Meanwhile, top seed Dinara Safina is also through to the last four, but the world number one won the last 11 games to dig herself out of a hole against unseeded Spaniard Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez, to secure a 4-6 6-3 6-0 success.

The Russian now faces five-times Wimbledon champion Venus Williams in the last four after the American fourth seed thrashed 10th seed Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland 6-2 6-1.

In men's action, fourth seed Tomas Berdych will face former world number one Lleyton Hewitt in the quarterfinals of the BMW Open in Munich.

Hewitt collected his 501st victory on the ATP Tour when he beat Dutchman Thiemo de Bakker 6-3 6-4, while Berdych had to come back from losing the first set, and going 5-2 down in the third, to claim a 1-6 6-4 7-6 win.

Julien Benneteau failed to join fellow-Frenchmen Paul-Henri Mathieu and Jeremy Chardy in the quarterfinals when he lost to Germany's Daniel Brands.

Brands, world ranked 114th, will face Italian Potito Starace in the last eight after his 6-4 3-6 7-6 victory.

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