Six-time world surfing champion Stephanie Gilmore turned on the style and aggression when it mattered most to advance through to the quarterfinals of the Margaret River Pro.
Gilmore was pitched into a sudden-death fourth-round encounter with American Sage Erickson after finishing a close second to Tyler Wright in a non-elimination round-three clash earlier on Monday.
She responded magnificently, catching two eight-point rides to down Erickson 17.10 to 14.74 and set up an all-Australian return clash with Wright in the quarters.
“Tyler got me in that last one,” said Gilmore.
“There were really no waves so it wasn’t a great battle but she’s got me the last couple of times and is surfing so well at the moment.”
Gilmore acknowledged she needed to be more assertive in future three-handed heats.
“When I’m out there I’m definitely feeling aggressive but then when I watch the replays I think I looked half asleep,” she said.
“It’s always interesting when you watch it back.
“It’s nice to be elegant, but I need to be aggressive to win these heats now.”
Fellow Australian Laura Enever also won her fourth-round clash, beating Hawaiian Malia Manuel 14.50 to 14.20, to set up a quarterfinal against ratings leader Courtney Conlogue from the U.S.
South African Bianca Buitendag and Tatiana Weston-Webb from Hawaii also progressed from round four on Monday.
Buitendag will take on Australian Sally Fitzgibbons in the last eight, while Buitendag will square off against reigning world champ Carissa Moore.