Maria Sharapova moved a step closer to clinching the world number one spot when she reached the semi-finals of the Italian Open in Rome.
The top seed, who will head the world rankings if she wins the Rome event, brushed aside Elena Bovina 6-2 6-2.
In the first clay-court semi-final of her career, Sharapova will play eighth seed Patty Schnyder.
Defending champion Amelie Mauresmo also progressed with a 6-1 6-2 win over four-time winner Conchita Martinez.
"The first three games were very important," said Mauresmo, who won the first set in just 28 minutes.
"I won them and that put me in a strong position. She had some opportunities, but I made sure she didn't take them."
Mauresmo will now face sixth seed Vera Zvonareva after her 7-5 7-6 (7-4) win over Italy's Francesca Schiavone.
Zvonareva lost to Mauresmo in the Rome semi-finals last year and the Russian said: "It's always good to earn a chance to turn things around.
"We usually have tough matches - we've been to three sets a couple of times. I'll have to give it my best."
Schnyder reached the last four after her 6-1 6-0 thrashing of Russia's Evgenia Linetskaya.