Venus Williams, 38, defeated Britain’s Heather Watson in the second round of the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic in San Jose on Friday.
The third seed, who got a first round bye, claimed a 6-4, 4-6, 6-0 to advance to the quarterfinals.
Williams is now the highest-seeded player remaining in the event after defending champion Madison Keys joined top seed Garbine Muguruza on the sidelines due to a right wrist injury.
Venus Williams will next play Maria Sakkari of Greece, who won 11 straight games in her 6-0, 6-1 dismantling of Hungarian Timea Babos. And Williams reckons that she’ll have to be at her best when they square off.
“I have to play my best again. I know that it’s never easy, and I’ll have to earn it, just like tonight,” Williams said. “So, I’ll be doing the same thing tomorrow.
Elsewhere, lucky loser Ana Blinkova, who replaced Garbine Muguruza, was routed by Victoria Azarenka 6-1, 6-0.
Azarenka will play Danielle Rose Collins for a place in the semifinals where a potential clash with Venus Williams awaits.