ROME, Italy - Chinese second seed Li Na defeated Samantha Stosur 6-3 6-1 to reach the quarter-finals of the ATP-WTA Rome Masters on Thursday, turning the tables in a long-running rivalry.
Stosur, a 2010 Roland Garros finalist, had beaten world No.2 Li in all six of their previous meetings going back to 2007.
The victory was her second straight over an Australian opponent after defeating qualifier Casey Dellacqua in the previous round.
But China's top female athlete made inroads against Stosur's one-way scoreline with her first victory, achieved in 68 minutes with five breaks of the 30-year-old Stosur.
"In the last six matches I tried to control the ball, but she was able to get a lot of chances," said 32-year-old Li who will play a quarter-final against Italian 10th seed Sara Errani, who beat Czech Petra Cetkovska 6-3 7-6 (7-3).
In the men's event, Rafael Nadal continued to search for his best clay form, surviving a shaky start to reach the quarter-finals and a date with Andy Murray.