Maria Sharapova's hopes of a title-winning return to the Australian Open were unceremoniously crushed by Angelique Kerber as the battle of the former champions ended 6-1 6-3 in the German's favour on Saturday.
Sharapova hit 10 of her 15 winners in the second set but a ruthless Kerber maintained the advantage to consign the Russian to her worst result at Melbourne Park since 2010.
When a backhand return victor brought up a break point and a trademark yell of "C'mon!" from Sharapova, you thought she might be on the point of turning the match on its head.
Angelique Kerber's momentum keeps going.
The 30-year-old is coached by Wim Fissette after the Belgian split with Johanna Konta at the end of last year, and she arrived in Melbourne having won the Sydney title.
It will definitely be the only time it happens on the women's side, since these two are the only grand slam, let alone Australian Open, champions left in the draw.
Halep has been travelling under the radar somewhat at Melbourne Park as she works her way towards a maiden Grand Slam title.
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"I always eat Chinese food match day before".
But her first serve was a liability on Saturday night, when she put just 38 percent into play.
"I had a really tough off-season and I was working hard to be here and playing against the best players".
The heat intensified as six-time champion Novak Djokovic extended his personal streak against Gael Monfils to 15-0 with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-1, 6-3 victory in which both players slouched over in the shade at the back of the court between points.
She started the match in strong fashion, not offering her opponent any break points, and took both break point chances she had during an easy first set. I'm still fit. I am still enjoying my tennis.
The Romanian will meet the victor of Ashleigh Barty and Naomi Osaka for a place in the quarter-finals.
Djokovic goes forward to a third-round meeting with 21st seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas after the Spaniard defeated Tim Smyczek from America 6-4 6-2 7-6 (7-2). No. 20 Barbora Strycova beat U.S. qualifier Bernarda Pera 6-2, 6-2, leaving U.S. Open finalist Madison Keys as the only American woman to reach the fourth round.
"I felt the pain but I didn't think about it", said after beating the Canadian. The 2016 victor from Germany and 21st seed roared past the unseeded Russian 2008 champion 6-1, 6-3 in 64 minutes to reach the last 16.