World number one Ash Barty has advanced to the second week of the Australian Open for the second straight year, blitzing fast-rising Kazakh Elena Rybakina 6-3 6-2.
In her most comprehensive Melbourne performance to date, the top-ranked Australian stomached a shaky start and a number of long-winded games on serve to make her fourth round berth in 78 minutes.
"[It was a] very tough one. I felt like I had to be very switched on, a lot of the games drew out long and I just had to find my right time to get out of them," Barty told Nine post-match.
She next faces either her Wimbledon conqueror, Alison Riske, or her German doubles partner Julia Goerges, a prospect she finds enticing.
"Don't sound so disappointed guys. It's incredible, Jules is a great friend of mine. It's really hard not to be friends with her, she's an unbelievable person," Barty said.
Rybakina, a finalist in Shenzhen and champion in Hobart, stamped her claim on the match from the first rally, breaking Barty to love as her walloping groundstrokes proved problematic for the world number one.
Despite being stretched behind the baseline, Barty backed her variety-rich game, finding great effect with her stinging backhand slice to immediately steal the break back.
Trading two more breaks of serve, Barty held her nerve to surge ahead for the first time.
Rybakina's game began to fall apart, producing a smattering of unforced errors, including back-to-back mistakes at the net that granted Barty her third consecutive break.
After a rare service hold from the Kazakh, who found the service box less than 50 per cent of the time in set one, Barty displayed her slam-winning mettle to serve it out in 32 minutes.
Securing another early service break in the second set, the local favourite then held her nerve in a nine-minute, six-deuce game to consolidate the advantage.
Swinging freer, the Australian bullied her 20-year-old opponent around the court, stepping in and closing exchanges with unreturnable shots or accurate volleys.
Fending off six break point opportunities, Barty won four of the last five games to book her place in the round of 16.