Victoria Azarenka has given the Adelaide International quarter-finals a more familiar feel, reaching the final eight alongside unseeded duo Irina-Camelia Begu and Linda Noskova.
Former world No.1 Azarenka accounted for rising Chinese star Zheng Qinwen 6-2 7-5 on Thursday as she continued preparations to try to add a third Australian Open crown later this month.
While the world No.26 played with a steady hand, Zheng, who is ranked two places lower, delivered an erratic showing.
The 20-year-old sent down 10 aces to Azarenka's one and 34 winners against 14, but she also made 35 unforced errors to the Belarusian's 10 which proved decisive.
"She's a great talent and I feel like she's was going to be a really, really good player," 33-year-old Azarenka said of her young rival.
"But I felt that I stuck to my game plan pretty well.
"I was consistent and I was taking my chances when I could.
"I was a lot more aggressive and a bit more comfortable today on the court."
Azarenka will next face Noskova after the Czech teenager downed fellow qualifier American Claire Liu 6-2 6-2, blasting 20 winners.
Romanian Begu upset No.7 seed Latvian Jelena Ostapenko 6-3 6-0 earlier in the day, steaming through 11 straight games to recover from a 1-3 deficit in the first set.
The results came a day after qualifier Marta Kostyuk shocked Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina to reach the final eight.
Ukrainian Kostyuk faces another tough challenge, taking on the winner between Tunisian top seed and world No.2 Ons Jabeur and Romanian Sorana Cirstea later Thursday.
Begu takes on fourth seed Veronika Kudermetova, who streaked to victory on Wednesday by winning the last 12 games against 2019 US Open champion Bianca Andreescu.