Justine Henin will put her 32-match winning streak on the line against Maria Sharapova in the Australian Open quarterfinals, their first meeting since the season-ending championship final in Madrid.
The top-ranked Henin had another straight-set win over an unseeded player, routing Taiwans Hsieh Su-wei 6-2, 6-2 in the fourth round Sunday when two-set victories dominated after an extra-long Day 6.
The fifth-seeded Sharapova pounded fellow Russian Elena Dementieva 6-2, 6-0, breaking the 11th-ranked player in six of her seven service games, including one at love to finish off the match in 62 minutes.
I have always had really tough games against her, Sharapova said, and I wanted to make sure I kept my focus all the way through.
That was a good warmup for the next stage.
Justines the one to beat, Sharapova said. Shes on a pretty good winning streak, but every match is new.
The one in Madrid was tough but physically she got me in the end she was tougher than I was in the end. But I had many chances and I was very close to winning.
In an early match Monday, No. 4 Ana Ivanovic joined Sharapova and Henin in the quarterfinals with a 6-1, 7-6 (2) win over Caroline Wozniacki.
Ivanovic will play the winner of Mondays later fourth-round match between Wimbledon champion Venus Williams and Marta Domachowska.
Wozniacki didnt have a single winner in the first set and won just 10 of 25 points on her serve as Ivanovic, dictating play, broke her three times.
Sharapova was seeded No. 1 last year when Henin skipped the season-opening major because she was going through a divorce. The Russian star reached the final before losing to Serena Williams in a lopsided final.
Williams also advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6-3, 6-4 over No. 11 Nicole Vaidisova in a rematch of last years semifinal. She will play third-ranked Jelena Jankovic, a 7-6 (3), 6-1 winner over Australias Casey Dellacqua.
Henin lost the No. 1 ranking after the Australian Open last year, handing the top spot to Sharapova for seven weeks.
But Henin returned to the tour soon after, embarking on a 63-4 season that culminated with a 5-7, 7-5, 6-3 win over Sharapova in 3 hours, 24 minutes at the WTA Tour Championships in Madrid.
That was the longest best-of-three match in the history of the season-ending tournament and 12th-longest tour match in the Open era.
I always know to beat her I have to be at my best, said Henin, whose only loss since May was a Wimbledon semifinal upset to Marion Bartoli. Shes a real fighter and she never gives up.
Henin won the Sydney International title in the leadup to the Australian Open, beating second-ranked Svetlana Kuznetsova in the final, and has added wins over Aiko Nakamura, Olga Poutchkova and No. 25 Francesca Schiavone at Melbourne Park.
Sharapova has not dropped a set in wins over Jelena Tosic Kostanic, former No. 1-ranked Lindsay Davenport, Elena Vesnina and Dementieva.
No. 2 Rafael Nadal also advanced to the quarterfinals in straight sets, including an abbreviated 6-3, 3-0 win in the fourth round when Paul-Henri Mathieu withdrew because of an injured left leg.
Nadals match was over at 10:30 p.m. at Rod Laver Arena on Sunday after he won 11 of 12 points to open the second set.
Mathieu had taken a medical timeout to receive treatment, and told the chair umpire after 50 minutes that he could not continue.
I was playing well today, maybe I was playing my best tennis in Australia this year, said Nadal, the three-time French Open champion. Im happy to be in the quarterfinals would have preferred not like this.
The last match the previous night did not start until 11:47 p.m. and Lleyton Hewitt finally beat 2006 runner-up Marcos Baghdatis in five sets at 4:33 a.m on Sunday