Austrian qualifier Tamira Paszek is trying to stay in the moment rather than think about how the ASB Classic draw has opened up with a cull of the seeds.
Six seeded players departed over the first two rounds in Auckland, with Paszek dispatching one of them, tournament No.4 Svetlana Kuznetsova.
Her 6-2 6-3 victory over the Russian, a two-time Grand Slam winner, has paired her with another qualifier, Belgian Kirsten Flipkens, in the quarter-finals.
Seventh-seeded Czech Barbora Strycova’s subsequent defeat to German Julia Goerges also means there are no seeded players left in that half of the draw.
“I’ve followed it a little bit, but I don’t really look at the draw,” Paszek said the other upsets.
The reason is not superstitious, she said, simply not wanting to think too far ahead.
Paszek has a career-high singles ranking of 26 and three WTA titles to her name, but the last of those was in 2012.
Now at 172 in the world, the 25-year-old is the lowest-ranked player left in the event.
Like Flipkens, she has previously made the last four in Auckland, achieving the feat as a 17-year-old in 2008, when she lost to the eventual champion, American Lindsay Davenport.
She has special memories of her first trip to New Zealand and the hospitality she received in her first Christmas away from home.
She also remembers coming up against the experienced Davenport, who prevailed in straight sets.
“She just killed me, that match,” she said.
“I had no chance. She was serving too big and, me, that little girl on the other side, but I always been good memories of here. I love it here.”