Holder Aryna Sabalenka continued her strong defence of the Australian Open title as the second seed put out Amanda Anisimova 6-3, 6-2 to reach the quarter-finals on Sunday.

The WTA No. 2 has lost just eight games in four matches as she hits the business end of the Grand Slam.

No. 442 Anisimova has now stalled in the Melbourne fourth round for a third time.

The contest was staged under the closed roof of the Laver arena due to the threat of possible rain.

“I’m super-happy with the level, she’s a tough opponent,” Sabalenka said, 

“I enjoy the atmosphere so much here, it makes me want to stay until the last day – hopefully we can get this (trophy) one more time.

“I think I feel stronger than last year…so far I feel good. Hopefully I can keep it up.”

She next plays ninth seeded 2021 Roland Garros champion Barbora Krejcikova who ended the dream run of 16-year-old Mirra Andreeva in a 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 comeback.

Sabalenka won three of their four meetings with the Czech last season and stands 5-1 in their career series.

But Krejcikova will go into the match with full confidence after her comeback over Andreeva.

“I’m fighting, trying to give my best and going for every single ball,” the challenger said.

“Today I got off to a slow start but I improved with every ball. I’m happy I was able to fight back in the second and third sets. I served really well.”

 Fourth seed Coco Gauff took advantage of a lighter tournament workload as she reached the quarter-finals on Sunday with a defeat of Magdalena Frech 6-1, 6-2

The American 19-year-old came to the fourth-round encounter with the Pole having spent around half the time on court than the eight hours of her opponent over three previous matches.

US Open winner Gauff sprinted through the opening set in 26 minutes and continued her domination as she ran out the winner in just over an hour.

Victory was the eighth in a row for the Auckland champion as he added to the streak in front of Rod Laver, sitting in his “house” for the fourth-round match.

 “When I noticed he came in (first set) I was up a lot so I was not nervous,” Gauff said. “But thanks for coming to my match.”

She added: “First Aussie quarter-final and I’m super happy to be in this position.

“I think I had three fourth rounds – it’s cool to get over that hump. 

“Hopefully I can keep going for more.

Gauff advanced without facing a break point while breaking No. 69 Frech five times.

The American will next face first-time Grand Slam quarter-finalist Marta Kostyuk after the Ukrainian defeated qualifier Maria Timofeeva 6-2, 6-1.