"There's something that really comes out from her on this surface, which she's able to do really well". They met in the semis three years ago just before the Russian went on to win the title.
Sharapova struggled at times on her own serve - getting broken four times, committing six double faults and winning just 56 per cent of her first-serve points - but her high winning percentage on second-serve points (53 per cent) allowed her to clinch a relatively routine victory.
British number one Johanna Konta is out of the Italian Open after losing in three sets to Jelena Ostapenko. Ostapenko hopes to make the semifinal of a WTA Premier 5 Tournament for the third time in her career.
So Konta arrived in Rome ranked 22 and with a 9-9 record, but began to show some of the old form and confidence with two good wins over No17 seed Magdalena Rybarikova and Su-Wei Hsieh. Sharapova has now made back-to-back quarterfinal appearances, which is a sign she's starting to come along. "I mean, obviously she's been going deep into tournaments and has helped set up some really great matches for herself in the past year specifically, and especially on this surface", Sharapova said.
Konta held through the remainder of the set, but Ostapenka was in full swing now, held to love for 5-2, and served out confidently for 6-3.
Samsung halts the Oreo update for the Galaxy S7 lineup once again
Under-the-hood, it will come with Samsung's proprietary Exynos 7870 octa-core processor, which can clock CPU speed up to 1.6GHz. The J6 will come with a 3000 mAh battery and is likely to include an S Bike Mode and an Ultra Data Savings feature.
Through it all, Ostapenko kept her mind on the job, and admirably, though she may have heaved a sigh of relief when Konta upped her attack but netted an easy volley after the Briton had worked her only break chance of the set. Ostapenko has won 10 of her last 12 matches on clay court.
Daria Gavrilova's Italian Open campaign is over after the Australian fell to former world No.1 Maria Sharapova 6-3 6-4. Simona Halep is next.
Romanian world number one Simona Halep was given a walkover into the quarter-finals as American Madison Keys withdrew because of a rib injury.
Sharapova will face French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko in the quarter-finals in their first-ever meeting. The Latvian's win sets up a tasty tussle Friday against former French victor Maria Sharapova who eased past a tired Daria Gavrilova 6-3, 6-4.
Reigning champion Elina Svitolina, from Ukraine, beat Russia's Daria Kasatkina 0-6 6-3 6-2. She will play either Wozniacki or Sevastova.