Ana Ivanovic's stunning win over Serena Williams in the last round ensured that the top half of the draw is wide open, and the Serbian star couldn't quite believe what she had achieved in her post-game interview while Williams insisted she knows she can play "ten times better".
Nevertheless, the American and pre-tournament favourite is out, and Ivanovic will now look ahead to her meeting with Canadian starlet Eugenie Bouchard. The 19-year-old is set for her first Grand Slam quarter-final, and having ended home hopes last time out with her battling performance against Casey Dellacqua, she will be determined to extend her Australian Open adventure further.
Confidence won't be an issue for the world number 31, but Ivanovic is very much dependent on it, and as she proved against Williams, when she's on her game she can play at a very high level. The 14th seed hasn't actually lost a game so far this year having won her only lead-up event in Auckland a few weeks ago, and seemingly in the midst of some great form, she will believe that a semi-final berth is there for the taking.
Bouchard did win their only previous meeting, a straight sets victory at Wimbledon last year. However, Ivanovic looks a completely different player at this point, and although her rival will prove to be a tricky proposition to overcome, she will be a worthy investment of advancing where she could meet either Flavia Pennetta or Na Li.
There are few superlatives left to describe Pennetta's resurgence over the past year or so, as she continues her comeback from injury to reach the latter stages of another Grand Slam. The Italian ace can expect her world ranking of number 29 to improve further following the conclusion of this tournament, but first she will be determined to produce another shock.
With Williams and Maria Sharapova both crashing out, there is no guarantee that Li will not follow suit and suffer an upset at the hands of a lower ranked player. Their head-to-head record supports the idea, given that they are currently locked at two wins apiece, with Pennetta winning their last encounter back in 2010 in Sydney, and although they remain friends off the court, neither will be doing the other any favours here.
Pennetta has had some big wins already over the past week against Puig and Kerber in particular, while Li has survived a scary moment or two but breezed through her last round match with relative ease. The Chinese star looks good value to prevail, and unfortunately for the Italian fans Down Under, this is where the journey ends for Pennetta who will hopefully continue to go from strength to strength.
Back Li to beat Pennetta 2-0 @ 1.794/5
Back Ivanovic to beat Bouchard 2-1 @ 4.03/1