LONDON, Great Britain - 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams maintained her mastery over former World No.6 Carla Suárez Navarro to win, 6-2, 6-2 and reach her 14th Wimbledon quarterfinal.
The seven-time Wimbledon winner has never lost more than three games in 14 sets played against the Spaniard, and kept that streak alive on Manic Monday, securing victory after 63 minutes on No.1 Court.
"The is rust definitely wearing off," she said in her post-match press conference. "Most of all I feel confident that I can actually move and I don't have to go for winners so soon because I'm in pain.
"It's like, 'Oh, now I can just play my game, hit shots, not have to worry about anything else.' It's good when your mind is clear and you can just play."
Williams last hoisted the Venus Rosewater Dish in 2016, when she tied Stefanie Graf's Open Era record of 22 major titles, breaking that record at the Australian Open six months later. Finishing runner-up to Angelique Kerber last year - her first Wimbledon since giving birth to daughter Alexis Olympia - the American has looked stronger with each match in what has been her 19th career appearance at SW19.
"I definitely feel like I'm getting better and better day by day. But, you know, every match is still super hard. Like even today I won a lot of points. It wasn't like your average 6-2, 6-2 score. There wasn't too many 40-Love games at all, actually.
"I think everyone is also getting better. As the tournament goes on, that's when the better players are surviving."
After rallying from a set down to outlast Slovenian teenager Kaja Juvan, she eased past Julia Goerges in a rematch of last year's semifinal to reach the second week, and racing through her clash with Suárez Navarro, who was hoping to complete her career set of Grand Slam quarterfinal appearances at the All England Club.
Breaking serve to start the match, Williams saved two break points in the final game of the opening set to move within six games of victory, and took a double break lead to start the second.
The No.30 seed stepped in to take her only break of the match, only for Williams to regain her ascendency, taking another 5-2 lead and serving out the win on her first match point.
In all, Williams, who is also playing mixed doubles with two-time Wimbledon champion Andy Murray, struck a solid 21 winners to 19 unforced errors and broke serve five times while dropping just six points on her first serve.
Up next for the American is countrywoman Alison Riske, who snapped Roland Garros champion Ashleigh Barty's 15-match winning streak earlier in the day, overcoming the World No.1 in three sets.
"It's just good that I'm not in pain. Doing three hours of treatment after every practice, every match, just to be able to have 50% of pain. That was tough. Now I'm just feeling so much better. I literally can't even tell you how much better I feel. That's a relief.
"That's a victory in itself, to know that I'm feeling better no matter what. I'm on the right path. I finally found the solution. I can be strong for the rest of the year."