Angelique Kerber won a battle of grand slam champions when the second seed powered her way into the quarter-finals of the US Open on Sunday with a 6-3 7-5 win over Petra Kvitova.
By reaching the last eight Kerber has put herself in position to end Serena Williams’ long reign as world No.1.
Williams, bidding for a record seventh US Open title, will now need to reach the final to have a chance of retaining top spot.
“When I was a kid, of course I was dreaming to winning slams and being one day number one,” Kerber said.
“Now it can happen.
“I’m trying to not put pressure on myself because I know I have to win few more matches to reach the number one.
“When it happens it will be amazing feeling because that was also one of my dreams.
“But let’s see what happens here in the next few days.”
The fourth-round match had a definite grand slam pedigree to it with Kerber, the Australian Open champion, going against twice Wimbledon champion Kvitova but failed to deliver any major excitement.
To be fair, Kerber and 14th-seeded Kvitova were handed a tough act to follow with the capacity Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd left buzzing about Frenchman Lucas Pouille’s upset win over Rafael Nadal in a five set thriller that had an hour earlier closed out the day session.
Kerber was in command from the start, winning all the big points on way to taking the opening set.
Kvitova, the Rio Olympic bronze medallist, offered more resistance in the second before meekly surrendering with a double fault on match point to gift Kerber a place in the quarter-finals.
Kerber’s victory set up an intriguing last eight clash with Italy’s Roberta Vinci, last year’s surprise runner-up advancing with a 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 win over Ukraine’s Lesia Tsurenko.
There was no great escape this time for Madison Keys as a resurgent Caroline Wozniacki locked the eighth-seeded American out of the US Open quarter-finals with a tidy 6-3 6-4 win.
Wozniacki, a US Open finalist in 2009 and 2014 but unseeded this year after being sidelined for two months by an ankle injury, dominated and wrapped up victory in just 78 minutes on Arthur Ashe Stadium court.
“I know that when I play my best I’m tough to beat and I just do my thing,” said the 74th-ranked Wozniacki, who will next meet Latvian Anastasija Sevastova, a 6-4 7-5 winner Britain’s Johanna Konta.
Sevastova, who quit tennis because of injury in 2013, became the first Latvian woman to reach the Open quarter-finals since 1994 when she beat 13th seed Konta.
Earlier, Italian seventh seed Vinci was first through to the quarter-finals after taming Ukraine’s Lesia Tsurenko 7-6 (7-5) 6-2.