Serena Williams fired down a Wimbledon record 23 aces, Yaroslava Shvedova blitzed through a record 24 consecutive points and Lukas Rosol was heading back to a life of anonymity as the All England Club ushered in the AN - After Nadal - era today.
Two days after brazen Czech Rosol turned tennis's world order on its head by bludgeoning Rafa Nadal out of Wimbledon, four-time women's champion Williams was in danger of falling through the same trap door. The American's serve was on fire and she was never broken, but she was lucky to escape unscathed as she subdued Zheng Jie's charge with a 6-7 6-2 9-7 third-round win.
Little wonder that Williams arched backwards to let out an almighty roar of relief after punching away a backhand volley on her third match point after just under two-and-a-half hours on a blustery and baking hot Centre Court.
It was the same arena that Rosol had found to his liking on Thursday as his ferocious forehands and atomic aces destroyed Nadal's title hopes. But 48 hours later, Rosol will be hoping he doesn't end up being a one-hit wonder, as he headed back into obscurity with a less than spectacular 6-2 6-3 7-6 drubbing at the hands of Germany's Philipp Kohlschreiber.
While Rosol will now have plenty of time to reply to the 150-odd text messages he received within minutes of jettisoning Nadal, Kohlschreiber was thanking his lucky stars for not having to face the Spanish world No. 2.
"I'm very happy that I'm not playing against Rafael Nadal, that's for sure," the 27th seed said, after reaching the last 16 here for the first time.
"If I would've gone into the match against Nadal, there would've been a 90 percent chance I would lose. Today was more 50/50.
"If you play in the last 16 and you're not facing Federer, Nadal, Murray - the big guys - it's a great chance to reach the quarterfinals, for sure."
Kazakhstan's Shvedova will hope to reach her second successive Grand Slam quarterfinal when she takes on Williams on Monday, but it's unlikely she'll repeat the kind of run she enjoyed on Day Six of the grasscourt championships.
The 24-year-old wildcard embarrassed French Open runner-up Sara Errani by becoming the first player to win a set in a Grand Slam tournament without conceding a point.
The first set disappeared in a 15-minute blur as Shvedova won 24 consecutive points - known as a "golden set" - on court three. Tenth seed Errani fought back in the second, but was powerless to stop Shvedova wrapping up a 6-0 6-4 victory.
Williams, for one, was bemused by Shvedova's achievement.
"Hopefully, I'll be able to win a point in the set [on Monday]," she grinned. "I never knew that [golden set] existed. I was like 'What does that mean?'
"I immediately thought, she won all four in a row and the Olympics? I thought that wasn't possible. That's the only golden thing I know of."
Williams will be shooting for two gold medals when Wimbledon hosts the Olympic tennis event next month, but today, her immediate concern was how to see off 2008 semifinalist Zheng.
She survived all six break points she faced, served three times to stay in the match, and was stretched to deuce in the final game. As soon as she hit the winning point, she leapt up in jubilation, before deafening the fans with her mighty warcry.
Joining the 13-time Grand Slam champion in the second week were titleholder Petra Kvitova, Australian Open victor Victoria Azarenka, and former French Open champions Ana Ivanovic and Francesca Schiavone.
Kvitova walloped American Varvara Lepchenko 6-1 6-0, second seed Azarenka eased past Slovakian Jana Cepelova 6-3 6-3 and Schiavone thumped Czech Klara Zakopalova 6-0 6-4.
Andy Roddick's chances of winning that elusive Wimbledon crown faded further into the sunset when he was comprehensively outplayed 2-6 7-6 6-4 6-3 by seventh seed David Ferrer. Three times runner-up, Roddick has now failed to reach Week Two for the second year running and with his 30th birthday just a few weeks away, the resigned look on his face at the end of the match suggested that even he knew that his time was up.
In stark contrast, fellow American Brian Baker has been providing the feel-good factor in the men's game this week. The 27-year-old qualifier showed that it's never too late to mount a career comeback, as he fought his way into the last 16 with a 6-4 4-6 6-1 6-3 win over Benoit Paire.
Baker's tennis adventure seemed over in 2005, but after undergoing five reconstructive elbow operations, he's slowly but surely made his way back into the Grand Slam fold. He began the year ranked 458th, arrived at Wimbledon as the world No. 126 and is now expected to break into the top 80.
TVNZ has live Wimbledon coverage on TV ONE each night, continuing on "U" - that's Freeview Channel 6 - and Sky Channel 16 after 6am. Highlights will show on TV ONE this afternoon. It's also streaming live right here (onenews.co.nz).