ORDER OF PLAY

CENTRALE -- 12:00 p.m. start
[1] Simona HALEP (ROU) vs. Yulia PUTINTSEVA (KAZ)
Following 1 men's match, not before 7:00 p.m.
[11] Elise MERTENS (BEL) vs. [2] Karolina PLISKOVA (CZE)

PIETRANGELI -- 12:00 p.m. start
Following 1 men's match, not before 2:00 p.m.
Victoria AZARENKA (BLR) vs. [9] Garbiñe MUGURUZA (ESP)
[12] Marketa VONDROUSOVA (CZE) vs. [4] Elina SVITOLINA (UKR)

GRAND STAND ARENA -- 12:00 p.m. start
Anna-Lena FRIEDSAM (GER) / Raluca OLARU (ROU) vs. [7] Shuko AOYAMA (JPN) / Ena SHIBAHARA (JPN)
Following 1 men's match
[1] HSIEH Su-Wei (TPE) / Barbora STRYCOVA (CZE) vs. Hayley CARTER (USA) / Luisa STEFANI (BRA)

MATCH POINTS

Top seed Simona Halep and Yulia Putintseva will square off for the second time as the Internazionali BNL d’Italia quarterfinals take place on Saturday. Their previous meeting came earlier this year, when Halep defeated Putintseva 6-1, 6-4 in the third round of the Australian Open.

World No.2 Halep is a two-time finalist in Rome, falling in the 2017 and 2018 finals to Elina Svitolina both times. She is currently on an 11-match winning streak, which includes a pre-hiatus title run at Dubai and a post-hiatus title run in Prague. 

Putintseva did not progress to a quarterfinal in her first seven WTA events of the season, but has now reached two big quarterfinals in her last two events. Last week, the Kazakh reached her third Grand Slam quarterfinal at the US Open.

Defending champion Karolina Pliskova and Elise Mertens will also meet for the second time. Pliskova won their prior encounter 6-1, 6-2 in the round of 16 on the grass of Eastbourne last season.

This week, World No.4 Pliskova has won back-to-back matches for the first time since the Australian Open during the winter. With her third-round win over Anna Blinkova on Friday, the Czech has now won seven consecutive matches at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia.

Mertens is on a run of good form, having reached the quarterfinals or better in her last four events. Prior to this week, she made the Prague final, the Western & Southern Open semifinals, and her second consecutive US Open quarterfinal.

Garbiñe Muguruza and Victoria Azarenka will face off in a battle between two-time Grand Slam champions and former World No.1 players. Azarenka has advanced past Muguruza in two of their three previous encounters, and their most recent meeting came in the round of 16 at this event last year, where Azarenka led 6-4, 3-1 before Muguruza retired due to a left thigh injury.

After her third-round win over last year's Rome finalist Johanna Konta, Muguruza is now up to 4-2 vs. Top 20-ranked opponents in 2020, including three Top 20 wins en route to the Australian Open final in the winter. Muguruza is a win away from equalling her best-ever performance in Rome (2016 and 2017 semifinals).

Azarenka has now emerged the victor in 14 of her last 15 matches, which includes her first title since 2016 at the Western & Southern Open, as well a run to her fifth Grand Slam final at the US Open just last week. The two-time Australian Open champion moved into the quarterfinals after Daria Kasatkina unfortunately had to retire after suffering a right ankle injury.

Elina Svitolina brings a 3-0 head-to-head lead into her match with Marketa Vondrousova. Two-time Rome champion Svitolina (2017 and 2018) has now improved her career win-loss record at the event to 13-4, following Friday's victory over two-time finalist Svetlana Kuznetsova. 

Vondrousova had been 0-6 in three-set matches this season coming into Rome, but has at last won two three-setters this week, including a final-set tiebreak victory over Polona Hercog in the round of 16 on Friday.

2020 Rome Highlights: Pliskova powers past Blinkova