MELBOURNE - World number two Caroline Wozniacki kept her bid for a first Grand Slam title on course as she stormed into the last 16 of the Australian Open on Friday.
The second seed only scraped through to the third round by the skin of her teeth, saving two match points at 5-1 down in the third set against 119th ranked Jana Fett.
But on Friday she gave her most assured performance of the tournament so far, cruising past Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands 6-4, 6-3 in an hour and 26 minutes.
Wozniacki had called her second round comeback her "greatest escape" but she was never in need of a rescue act on Friday as she easily dealt with the challenge from the number 30 seed, who was playing in the third round for the first time.
"Right now I'm playing with house money, playing with nothing to lose," said the Dane. "I was already out of the tournament."
And it showed as the former world number one was fast out of the blocks, breaking Bertens' opening service game.
Apart from one dropped serve of her own in the first set and a row with the umpire over a slippery patch on the court, she remained composed and in control throughout, taking the opener in 41 minutes.
Wozniacki, unlike her previous match, kept the unforced errors to a minimum, committing just 12, while forcing her opponent into making 34.
The Dane, who is drawn to face fourth seed Elina Svitolina in the semi-final, raced into a 4-0 lead in the second.
She had a brief moment of anxiety at 0-30 when leading 4-2 but banged down two unreturned first serves to quell any nerves.
Serving for the match, however, Wozniacki wobbled again.
She had to save four break points and at one point slammed her racquet to the ground after another altercation with the umpire about an overrule.
Eventually she secured victory in on her fourth match point.
She next faces 19th seed Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia for a place in the quarter-finals and said she expected a similar challenge.
"She has a good forehand and a good serve so I will need to be ready for everything. Serve well and get my returns in," said Wozniacki.AFP