Dominant Williams sees off Konta to reach Rome quarters

Johanna Konta v Venus Williams

Johanna Konta v Venus Williams

However, the American reasserted her dominance in the deciding set, securing a double break to take it 6-1 and with it, secure a place in the quarter-finals.

In a first set that included 13 unforced Konta errors as well as a problematic second serve, Williams seized the initiative to grab the advantage in just over half an hour.

The British number one had been hoping to prepare for the French Open with a run to the latter stages in Rome, but Williams was able to end her three-match losing streak against Konta to prevail 6-1 3-6 6-1.

Third seed Muguruza was triumphant at Roland Garros 12 months ago and the Spaniard, last year's semi-finalist in Rome, proved too good for Julia Goerges in a 7-5 6-4 victory. One day after beating No. 1-ranked German Angelique Kerber in straight sets, Kontaveit easily defeated 16th-seeded Mirjana Lucic-Baroni of Croatia, 6-1, 6-1.

"It's so even that I felt today like if I didn't play well and concentrated, I could have easily lost this match", Muguruza said.

Sixth-seed Simona Halep marched past Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-1 4-6 6-0 in the other third-round clash.

In the absence of Maria Sharapova, who was denied wildcard entry, and Serena Williams through pregnancy, the women's draw in Paris looks incredibly open.

In a post match interview with the WTA, Venus discussed how pleasantly surprised she was about her win against World.