No.9 seed Petra Kvitova dodged the rain and quelled a dogged opponent to reach the last 16 of Wimbledon for the seventh time, coming through 6-3, 7-5 against qualifier Natalija Stevanovic.
Kvitova, a champion in SW19 in 2011 and 2014, extended her winning streak to eight matches. Two weeks ago in Berlin, she captured her 31st career Hologic WTA Tour title.
Against No.225-ranked Stevanovic, Kvitova had spells where she looked unstoppable. After a slow start, she roared back from an early break deficit to take the first set in a flurry of fine volleying and efficient serving. Even when Stevanovic raised her game in the second set, Kvitova came up with some superb defense en route to a break lead.
But Stevanovic, 28, was able to demonstrate some of the grit that has seen her make the third round on her Grand Slam main-draw debut. Deploying biting slices to disruptive effect, she fended off a point to trail 5-3 and instead took a 5-4 lead on serve when play was halted for rain.
Kvitova re-emerged with laser focus to take the first 10 points on resumption. Serving out the match wasn't so simple. The Czech needed to navigate through six deuces and save three break points, while Stevanovic saved the first three match points she faced -- the third with a terrific down-the-line forehand winner.
But Kvitova's serve continued to come through for her when she needed it, and she thumped down an unreturnable delivery to convert her fourth match point.
Kvitova will next face either No.6 seed Ons Jabeur or former US Open champion Bianca Andreescu.