Top-seeded Martina Navratilova beat West Germany's Claudia Kohde-Kilsch, 6-2, 6-3, Friday to reach the semifinals of the $150,000 Italian Open women's tennis tournament at Rome.
The victory set up a semifinal match between Navratilova and 16-year-old Gabriela Sabatini of Argentina, who routed 15-year-old Arantxa Sanchez of Spain, 6-0, 6-0.
Second-seeded Steffi Graf of West Germany and third-seeded Helena Sukova of Czechoslovakia will meet today in the other semifinal.
Graf struggled past Bettina Fulco of Argentina, 6-4, 6-4, while Sukova defeated Judith Polzl of Austria, 6-4, 6-2.
Navratilova often was caught flat-footed by Kohde-Kilsch but, in the end, her booming serve and strong backhand proved too much for her opponent.
Navratilova has won all five of her matches against Sabatini. But Sabatini, who will be 17 next week, was optimistic.
"She's not playing well at the moment," Sabatini said. "I have a very good chance to beat her because I feel very good on these courts, and I have never played her on clay."