Serena Williams continued her run toward a third consecutive major title, beating Maria Kirilenko 6-2, 6-0 on Monday to reach the quarterfinals at the Australian Open.
Williams has lost only one match since her first-round exit at the French Open last year. Since then, she has won Wimbledon, Olympic gold, the U.S. Open, the season-ending WTA championships and the Brisbane International title.
Her 57-minute win over Kirilenko extended her current winning streak to 20 matches.
Williams even surprised herself with her strong play against Kirilenko.
"I didn't expect to come out and play so well tonight,'' Williams said. "I was like `Wow!' I saw I had 95 percent first serves in the first set. I said `Who is this girl?' It's not me usually.''
The 31-year-old Williams can become the oldest woman to hold the No. 1 ranking by winning her sixth Australian Open title. She next plays 19-year-old American Sloane Stephens, who reached the quarterfinals at a major for the first time with a 6-1, 3-6, 7-5 win over Bojana Jovanovski of Serbia.