Former World No.1 Venus Williams reached her second Australian Open quarterfinal in the last three years with a decisive win over qualifier Mona Barthel.
WTA Staff

MELBOURNE, Australia - No.13 seed and 2003 Australian Open runner-up Venus Williams returned to the last eight Down Under with a 6-3, 7-5 win over a resurgent Mona Barthel.

"At this point of the tournament, you want to feel good and you want to feel like you're doing everything perfectly," she said in her post-match press conference.

"But really, at the end of the day, it's about walking to the net, shaking hands as the winner. However that happens, two sets or three sets, that's how I want to walk to the end, as a winner."

Venus was playing in the second week of her fourth straight major tournament against a former World No.23 who spent most of 2016 off the tour due to a prolonged battle with illness.

Still, the German was enjoying her best-ever Grand Slam result as a qualifier, knocking out reigning Olympic champion Monica Puig in the second round.

Untested through much of the first week, Venus hadn't dropped a set en route to the second week, but shook off the disappointment of losing serve in a long seventh game to immediately break back and seal the opening set in 43 minutes.

The second set was an even tenser affair, going with serve through the first 10 games before the American swept the final two games to seal victory in an hour and 36 minutes.

In all, Venus hit 31 winners to 33 unforced errors, and dropped just two points behind her first serve in the second set to book a quarterfinal encounter with No.24 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

"I know her game. I have played a lot of matches this tournament kind of not knowing what to expect. That's a whole different approach.

"Now I have played her. I know what to expect. So I can almost already be settled in before I get to that match. So it's a good thing."