Karolina Pliskova’s exit from Wimbledon yesterday meant for the first time in the history of the championships not one of the top 10 women’s seeds reached the quarter-finals.
Pliskova, the seventh seed from the Czech Republic, was the only player from the top 10 in the women’s draw to make it into the second week.
However, she only lasted until lunchtime yesterday, going down 6-3 7-6 (7/1) in the fourth round to 20th seed Kiki Bertens, from Holland.
Jelena Ostapenko went through after a straight-sets win over Aliaksandra Sasnovich.
Last year’s French Open champion, seeded 12th, edged a tight first set and then ran away with the second, winning 7-6 (7/4) 6-0.
Ostapenko will face Dominika Cibulkova in the last eight.
Cibulkova looks like a woman on a mission having been the player who missed out on a seeding after Serena Williams was parachuted in at No 25.
The Slovakian, who accounted for Johanna Konta in round two, beat Hsieh Su-wei, of Taiwan.
There was controversy at the end of the first set when the match referee was called over an incorrect line call, which caused a delay of around seven minutes before the point was replayed.
Cibulkova took the set and the incident seemed to effect Hsieh, who was beaten 6-4 6-1.
Italy’s Camila Giorgi swept aside Ekaterina Makarova, of Russia 6-3 6-4.
Angelique Kerber is now the highest-ranked player left in the tournament.
The 11th seed, who reached the final in 2016, beat Belinda Bencic of Switzerland 6-3 7-6 (7/5).
Kerber’s fellow German Julia Goerges reached her first grand slam quarter-final.
Goerges, seeded No 13, beat Donna Vekic of Croatia 6-3 6-2.
The route seems to have been cleared for Williams to win the title in only her fourth tournament since giving birth to daughter Olympia in September.
Yesterday she set a new record, but played down title talk as she eased into the last eight.
The 23-time grand slam champion was elevated to a seeding of 25th for this fortnight despite slipping down the rankings as a result of maternity leave.
But her current position at 181st in the world makes the American the lowest-ranked Wimbledon quarter-finalist in the open era, the International Tennis Federation said. She took just an hour and two minutes to swat aside fellow tennis mother Evgeniya Rodina 6-2 6-2 on Centre Court.
With all top 10 women’s seeds now out of the championships, Williams is hot favourite to win an eighth title at the All England Club.
“On both sides, the men’s and women’s, there have been a tremendous amount of upsets,” said the 36-year-old.
“I don’t think this has happened to this extreme. But also I’ve never been ranked where I am when this has happened before, so usually I’m one of those few seeds left that’s still fighting and still in the tournament.
“I have a long way to go. I’m only in the quarter-finals. It’s not about wrapping up a win. It’s like all the other women that are still in the draw: each of us, seeded or not, we’re just here to do our best.”
Rodina has a five-year-old called Anna, yet with so few women returning to tennis after having children a meeting of two mothers in the fourth round of a grand slam was a rare occurrence.
Olympia has begun to walk, but Williams revealed she does not want her daughter to follow in her footsteps.
“I would hope she doesn’t play tennis,” she said.
“It’s a lot of work. A lot. Plus I don’t want her to have pressure from what I did, people talking about, ‘are you going to be able to do as good as your mom?’. I don’t want her to have that.”
British pair Jay Clarke and Harriet Dart moved into the third round of the mixed doubles with a three-set win.
The youngsters beat 13th seeds Max Mirnyi and Kveta Peschke 6-2 4-6 6-4 on Court Three.
Clarke, 19, was back in action after his marathon day on Friday when his men’s doubles match lasted five hours in total before playing with 21-year-old Dart later on the same day.
Earlier yesterday, Joe Salisbury continued his impressive partnership with Dane Frederik Nielsen and they beat Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah 5-7 7-6 (7/3) 6-3 7-6 (7/1).
Andy Murray will be back at Wimbledon today as the two-time champion makes his first public appearance since deciding to withdraw.
The former world No 1 ruefully concluded on the eve of the tournament that best-of-five-set tennis would be too demanding given he is in the early stages of his comeback from hip surgery.
Murray is set to appear on television and wrote on Facebook: “Live in the BBC studio tomorrow with Tim Henman and trying my hand at commentary on Wednesday.... what could possibly go wrong...”