Madison Keys broke personal ground on Wednesday, reaching the WTA Dubai quarter-finals for the first time with a 6-2, 6-1 defeat of Victoria Azarenka.
The American, 2017 US Open finalist, stalled in the second round here in her only previous appearance in the emirate two years ago.
Former No. 1 Azarenka, a double Australian Open champion, was carrying an injury but did not take a medical timeout in the brief 59-minute defeat.
Keys, ranked 23rd, fired nine aces and broke four times on the way into the last eight at the Aviation Club.
“It’s my first time to get this far here,” the winner said. “Even if she was not at her best, this was a tough match.
“At least I now get to play another one, hopefully I can keep up this form in the next round.”
The winner who turned 28 last week, said she just had to overlook a hampered opponent.
“In these situations it’s best just to focus on your side of the court, she was still making some incredible shots.”
Keys will await her net round opponent as compatriot Coco Gauff faces reigning Wimbledon winner Elena Rybakina.