The first match at the Internazionali BNL Italia on Thursday afternoon was between the 5th seeded Chinese, Na Li and 18th ranked Serb, Jelena Jankovic. The Serb had only lost a total of five games in her two matches to this stage of the tournament, while Li had a bye in the first round and lost just four games in her second round match. Li started the contest, broke the Serb in the first game and held, but Jankovic then held and then broke to level. Games went with serve until the 8th game when the Serb got another break, but Li broke back for 5-5. The set went to a breaker, which Jankovic won 7-2. Games went with serve in the second set until the Serb broke to lead 4-3, 5-3 and 6-5 before serving out the set at 7-5.
The 7th seeded Italian Sara Errani played against the 12th seeded Russian, Maria Kirilenko. Errani had a bye in the first round and survived a really tough three set battle in the second round, while Kirilenko won both her matches easily in straight sets to make it to the third round. Errani, the home favourite, took the first set with relative ease 6-3 and built up a 2-0 lead before Kirilenko had to retire.
Another Italian, 13th seeded Roberta Vinci took on the qualifier from Roumania, 64th tanked Simona Halep. Vinci survived a three set cliff hanger in the first round and sailed through her second round match with the loss of just five games. Halep is having a great time in Rome, as she took out Daniela Hantuchova in the qualifiers, then Svetlana Kuznetsova in the first round, losing only one game in each set. She then had a real battle to defeat 4th seed Aga Radwanska in the second round. Halep got early breaks in the first set to lead 4-1, but Vinci went on a run to get to 3-4 and 4-5 before the Roumanian took the set 6-4. Halep got the breaks again in the second set and took it 6-2.