Serena Williams swats aside Kirilenko
Five-times champion Serena Williams has delivered another devastating display to set up a mouth-watering Australian Open showdown with her teenage heir apparent Sloane Stephens.
Williams dealt with Russian Maria Kirilenko as though she was running late for a nine o'clock movie, motoring into the last eight for the eighth time in Melbourne with a 6-2 6-0 centre-court mauling tonight.
Extraordinarily, the 15-times grand slam champion landed more than 90 per cent of first serves and raised her tournament tally to a championship-best 30 aces in swatting aside Kirilenko in 57 minutes.
The victory was Williams' 40th from her past 41 matches and she will be a raging favourite to end the career-best run of 19-year-old Stephens on Wednesday.
Stephens qualified for her maiden grand slam quarter-final with a 6-1 3-6 7-5 win over Serbian Bojana Jovanovski but will need to reverse her 6-4 6-3 loss to Williams in Brisbane a fortnight ago to keep her dream campaign going.
The fast-rising world No.25 was giving Williams due respect but also refusing to rule out the possibility of causing a grand slam boilover.
''She's obviously one of the greatest players to ever play the game,'' Stephens said.''Without all that, it's still a tennis match.
You have to go out and play your game, no matter what.''Without the titles, with the titles, it's still a tennis match.
The court's the same size.''You're still playing a regular person across the net. You've just got to go out and play.''
Defending champion Victoria Azarenka has joined Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova to make the quarter-finals of the Open, today.
Azarenka needed less than an hour to see off unseeded Russian Elena Vesnina 6-1 6-1 to book a last-eight clash with Kuznetsova.
Kuznetsova showed she was free of the leg injury which ruined her 2012 season when she bounced into the quarter-finals of the Australian Open.
The former French and US Open champion upset 10th seeded-Dane Caroline Wozniacki 6-2 2-6 7-5 on Monday in a gruelling encounter lasting two hours and 28 minutes.
Kuznetsova plummeted outside the top 50 last year for the first time in 11 years and came into the Open unseeded.
She had lost to Wozniacki four times in succession before her return from injury this year, but did beat the former world No.1 for the first time since 2009 in the recent Sydney International.
Kuznetsova started strongly against Wozniacki, sealing an early service break in the first set and taking it 6-2 in 43 minutes.
Wozniacki was quick to respond, levelling the scores before the pair fought their way to 5-5 in the decider.
The Russian dominated the 12th game and wasted no time capitalising after running up two match points against Wozniacki, whose returns had become more erratic.
''I'm very happy with the result but disappointed with the second set because I got stuck in there a little bit,'' said the Russian.
Kuznetsova said she was now refreshed and fit after becoming jaded last year.
''I broke a little bone in my knee and was on crutches for about two months,'' she said.
''I had been a little bit tired travelling over 10 years but I feel a lot fresher now.