Venus Williams has advanced to the quarter-finals of the ASB Classic, after an assured 6-4 6-3 win over wildcard Lauren Davis.

It means that Williams remains on course for a dream match-up with Caroline Wozniacki on Friday night, if the Dane can progress later this evening.

While Williams' performance perhaps didn't reach the heights of her display against Victoria Azarenka, the fifth seed still had to work hard to subdue a typically gritty Davis in 94 minutes.

The diminutive Davis relied on a wildcard to get into the tournament, after slipping to No 173 in the world.

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But at times she showed glimpses of her 2017 form in Auckland, when she cut a swathe through the field to take the trophy, beating four seeds on the way.

But Williams played a smart match. She served well, limited her errors and was sharp off the ground.

Williams had taken their previous two encounters in straight sets – both in 2015 – and this match followed a similar pattern.

Aside from one break late in the first set, Davis couldn't put enough pressure on the Williams serve, but was regularly in service trouble herself.

The 38-year-old Williams arrived on court with a large green compression sleeve covering most of her right arm, perhaps feeling the effects of her long encounter with Azarenka on Tuesday night.

But the veteran was quickly into her work, with some booming serves backed up by accurate groundstrokes.

She broke her compatriot to edge ahead, but couldn't convert a set point on the Davis serve in the seventh game.

Davis, who took more than two months off tour last year, showed all of her renowned fight to break the Williams serve, but couldn't consolidate and dropped the set, via a net cord, in the next game.

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Williams continued her momentum in the second set, as she warmed into her work. Davis showed flashes of resistance, but the result was never really in doubt.