Maria Sharapova came through a spirited test from Zarina Diyas to reach the quarter-finals at Wimbledon on Monday, eventually subduing the tenacious scrambler from Kazakhstan 6-4, 6-4 after a brief scare in the second set.
The Russian, who had not been past the fourth round since 2011 at the tournament she won for the only time as a teenager 11 years ago, will now face American Coco Vandeweghe in the last eight.
Her victory over Diyas was far from comprehensive, but further evidence nonetheless that things are looking good for the fourth seed as she maintained her unblemished record of not dropping a set up so far.
She found her range early under hazy skies on Court One, peppering the baseline with her usual array of missiles and breaking for a 3-1 lead with a rasping crosscourt winner.
Diyas, who surged 129 places up the rankings in 2014 to 34th, showed she was no soft touch by breaking back in the ninth game, having saved two set points, but Sharapova's extra power told.
Serena completes her 15th win over sister Venus
Serena Williams stood three wins away from hoisting her fourth successive grand slam title by trumping elder sister Venus 6-4, 6-3 to reach the quarter-finals of Wimbledon.
A contest featuring two women who between them have hoisted the Rosewater Dish 10 times should have been a blockbuster but turned out to be yet another awkward anti-climax -- as has been the case in their previous 25 meetings.
Serena started off by thundering through the first eight points of the match, bagged the opening set by hurling down three aces, and completed her 15th win over Venus by breaking the 35-year-old to love.
The top-ranked American will meet former world number one Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, who bested rising Swiss talent Belinda Bencic 6-2, 6-3, in Tuesday's quarter-final.
Murray through to quarters for eighth consecutive time
Third seed Andy Murray dropped a set but emerged unharmed from the sights of bullet-serving Croat Ivo Karlovic to reach the quarter-finals at Wimbledon for the eighth consecutive time with a 7-6(7), 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 victory.
The towering Karlovic had walloped down 136 aces in his first three matches and regularly fired down 130mph missiles, but looked on his way out as Murray took a two-set lead.
A cat-and-mouse third set, however, was decided when Karlovic broke in the 12th game, injecting some much-needed life into the match on Centre Court.
Murray, however, had too much guile for the Croat and broke in the seventh game of the fourth, before serving out to set up a last eight clash against Canada's Vasek Pospisil.
CoCo and Keys make it three Americans in last eight
Coco Vandeweghe and Madison Keys proved that when it comes to American tennis there is life beyond the Williams sisters as both reached the quarter-finals.
Vandeweghe used her powerful game to drastic effect to beat Czech sixth seed Lucie Safarova 7-6(1), 7-6(4).
Keys, seeded 21, recovered from a set down to beat Belarussian qualifier Olga Govortsova 3-6, 6-4, 6-1.
While 20-year-old Keys is already being tipped as the player most likely to fill the void when the Williams sisters call time on their glittering careers, Vandeweghe, a couple of years older, has taken longer to realise her potential.
Radwanska bests Jankovic
Meanwhile, the beaten finalist in 2012, Agnieszka Radwanska, also booked their places in the quarter finals.
Polish 13th seed Radwanska booked her spot in the quarter -finals with a 7-5, 6-4 win over Serbian 28th seed Jelena Jankovic.
Former world number one Jankovic had knocked out defending champion Petra Kvitova in the third round.
Radwanska faces 21st seed Keys in the quarter-finals.
Caroline Wozniacki blew her chance to make the quarter-finals with a 6-4, 6-4 defeat to 20th seed Muguruza.
The Danish fifth seed, who has been the world number one despite never having won a Grand Slam, was the only top 12 player left in the bottom half of the draw.
Wozniacki has now reached the fourth round at the All England Club five times without ever progressing.
Muguruza will face Bacsinszky for a place in the semi-finals.
French Open champion Stanilas Wawrinka also advance to the quarter-finals.
The Swiss, seeded fourth, beat 16th seed David Goffin of Belgium 7-6 (3), 7-6 (7), 6-4.
Wawrinka next faces Frenchman Richard Gasquet, a 7-5, 6-1, 6-7(7), 7-6(6) winner over Australia's Nick Kyrgios.