Roger Federer remained on course for a semi-final clash with Spanish rival Rafael Nadal at the Italian Open after cruising past Tomas Berdych 6-3-, 6-3 in just over an hour on Friday.
Federer has made the final in Rome three times in the past 12 years but been beaten on every occasion — twice by Nadal and once by Felix Mantilla, in 2003.
The 33-year-old Swiss could now meet Nadal, the seven-time champion, in the last four if the Spaniard overcomes Swiss Stan Wawrinka in their semi-final scheduled for later in the day.
The old foes have met 15 times on clay with Nadal leading Federer 13-2 on his favoured red surface.
Earlier, Spain's David Ferrer set up a possible semi-final clash with Novak Djokovic after disposing of Belgian qualifier David Goffin 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 in the quarter-finals on Friday.
Goffin, who had stunned Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the second round, had advanced to the last eight of the competition with a walkover after third round opponent Andy Murray withdrew on Thursday citing fatigue.
But despite levelling the match by winning the second set, the 24-year-old from Liege was overcome by his more experienced Spanish rival in the decider.
Ferrer, a French Open finalist in 2013 when he was beaten by compatriot and good friend Nadal, has never triumphed in Rome, although he reached the final in 2010 when he was again beaten by Nadal.
He takes on defending Italian Open champion Djokovic if the Serbian accounts for Japan's Kei Nishikori in their quarter-final later on Friday.
Djokovic warned after a hard-fought third round win over Thomaz Bellucci on Thursday: "He (Nishikori) is not somebody who is a promising player, he's already an established top 10 player, a Grand Slam finalist and very consistent.
"I think he's been playing great ever since he started working with Michael Chang."