Maria Sharapova's fearsome form continued yesterday when she claimed an enviable record en route to the Australian Open quarter- finals.
With her victory over Belgian Kirsten Flipkens, the Russian set a new mark of the fewest games conceded in the first four rounds of the Open since 1988 when the 128-person draw was introduced.
Sharapova has dropped just five games in her four matches at Melbourne Park, beating the previous record of eight held by Steffi Graf (1988) and Monica Seles (1991 and 1993).
The overall grand slam record is held by French player Mary Pierce, who lost four games on her way to the French Open quarters in 1994.
"I'm certainly happy to be playing this well, but it only gets tougher from here," Sharapova said.
Despite the ease of her progress, Sharapova remains cautious heading into the second week.
"It's really about keeping your focus, no matter what the score is, no matter if you're up," she said.
"I didn't start the match really great. I was facing a different type of opponent today and I was making a few more mistakes than I would have liked in the beginning.
"It's always much easier said than done to keep that focus, especially when you have a first set."
She now meets compatriot Ekaterina Makarova.