Garbine Muguruza will face Simona Halep in her first Australian Open semi-final after defeating Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.
Muguruza is unseeded but has shown some of the form that brought her the French Open title in 2016 and Wimbledon a year later to put together her best run at Melbourne Park.
She had only reached one slam semi-final since winning at SW19, at the French Open in 2018, and lost her first set of this tournament 6-0 to American Shelby Rogers as she recovered from illness.
From there Muguruza has been inspired and she won a battle of the big hitters 7-5 6-3 against Russian Pavlyuchenkova, who has now lost all six of her slam quarter-finals.
A twist to this contest saw Muguruza face her long-time coach Sam Sumyk, who is now working with Pavlyuchenkova, but it was the Spaniard who had the last laugh.
She has teamed up again with Conchita Martinez, who led her to the Wimbledon title in a temporary arrangement, and it certainly appears a productive partnership.
Muguruza will go into the semi-finals as the underdog, though, given the form of fourth seed Halep, who needed just 53 minutes to beat Anett Kontaveit 6-1 6-1.
“I think the toughest moment is when you work hard, work like before, or even harder, and you don’t feel like results are coming fast. Athletes sometimes can get a little bit desperate, get too impatient about it,” said Muguruza.
“It’s very tough to be for so many years in the top of the game, being that consistent. I feel like it’s something super hard to do. Barely few players can hold that for many, many years in a row.
“You just have to be patient and go through the rough moments, just hang in there and it will come back again.”
Halep is the only player left in singles yet to drop a set.
“Perfection doesn’t exist, but I’m very happy with the way I played,” she said.
“I felt great on court. I was moving great. I felt the ball really, really good. It was a great match.”