Sara Errani took advantage of a supportive crowd to beat second-seeded Li Na 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 Friday and reach the Italian Open semifinals for the second consecutive year.
The 10th-seeded Errani is attempting to become the first Italian woman to win Rome since Raffaella Reggi took the title 29 years ago.
Li was unusually inconsistent, committing 52 unforced errors to Errani's 21.
Errani celebrated by waving her arms to incite the crowd. Her semifinal opponent will be either 2007 and 2008 Rome champion Jelena Jankovic or third-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska.
In men's play, eighth-seeded Milos Raonic held off Jeremy Chardy of France 6-3, 5-7, 6-2 and will next play either Novak Djokovic or David Ferrer.
The Italian Open is the last key warmup before the French Open starts in nine days.