Should Venus or Sharapova reach the final, awaiting the finalist could be American Serena
Williams who is 21-2 this year on the WTA Tour.
World number two Sharapova won the Australian Open in January without dropping a set and
then this spring won the title in Amelia Island. At Charleston last month however Sharapova was outhit by world number six
Serena Williams 7-5, 4-6, 6-1 in the quarterfinals.
Each of the three power hitters possess weapons which could lead her to the Rome title, but not before several compelling
matchups are won. Venus could face recent Prague winner and 10th seeded Vera Zvonareva of Russia and 4th seeded Jelena
Jankovic of Serbia prior to the semifinals. In Serena's half of the draw are top seeded Ana Ivanovic of Serbia and 3rd seeded Svetlana
Kuznetsova of Russia.
World number one Justine Henin of Belgium, who is 16-4 this year in WTA Tour match play, withdrew Friday from the claycourt event
because of fatigue. Henin's late withdrawal earned her a $20,000 fine from the WTA Tour.
Sharapova and the Williams sisters take to the courts most likely Tuesday or Wednesday after all receiving first round byes.