Italian Open 2012: Williams Sisters Back Where They Want To Be

Venus and Serena Williams are continuing their climb back to the top of the tennis world.

In the quarterfinals at Rome, Venus beat Sam Stosur in the third round, 6-4, 6-3. Serena also won in straight sets.

The ATP put it like this: "They may be in the twilight of their glistening careers but they are producing winning tennis for themselves, together as a team, as a busy summer approaches."

With their current place in the tournament, the Williams will only rise in the rankings. Serena is en route to making the top 5 (or possibly higher, depending on where she ends in the tournament). Venus, a wildcard entry, is once again one of the top 3 Americans in the WTA. The former world No. 1 will slot into the top 50.

And if they continue their current winning ways in Rome, they could meet in an all-sister final. (We haven't seen one of those in a while.)

First, Serena will have to take down Flavia Pennetta while Venus faces tournament No. 2 seed Maria Sharapova.

From the ATP:

"I'm extremely impressed and Venus has been through so much and I think of her when I am down and tired," said Serena. "I think she is great and she is so motivated and what she had been going through. I've never been so motivated to continue on my journey."

(Top 10 players in bold)

Centrale, starting at noon ET
Flavia Pennetta vs. Serena Williams
Not Before 1:30 p.m.
Tomas Berdych vs. Rafael Nadal
Not Before 4:00 p.m.
Novak Djokovic vs. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
Not Before 7:20 p.m.
Angelique Kerber vs. Petra Kvitova
Not Before 9:00 p.m.

Roger Federer vs. Andreas Seppi

Supertennis Arena, starting at noon ET
David Ferrer vs. Richard Gasquet
Dominika Cibulkova vs. Li Na
Not Before 3:00 p.m.
Venus Williams vs. Maria Sharapova

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