Serena Williams was at her brilliant and brutal best on Wimbledon's Centre Court as she sent defending champion Petra Kvitova home at the quarter-final stage.

Without a grand slam title since her fourth Wimbledon two years ago - her 13th in total - she is in London with a point to prove and sent out a clear warning sign of her intentions with a 6-3 7-5 win.

The American served up 13 aces and hit 27 winners in the process, leaving Kvitova with little hope or chance of continuing her title defence.

Defeat had been on the cards for Kvitova from the off, with Williams, once she had recovered from love-30 in the opening game, assuming total control. Taking confidence from that early escape, she was almost unplayable on serve in the subsequent games, hitting winners that were pinned to the lines when not blasting Kvitova off the court with her first shot.

The break she needed to cement her dominance duly arrived in the sixth game - a wide backhand validating the second of three break points - and she held serve twice more herself to see the set out.

Such had been Williams' dominance that her first genuine error did not arrive until the 11th game when she wildly sent a forehand volley off court when 30-15 behind.

She was finding Kvitova harder to deal with, with the Czech striking the ball a lot better, never more so than when she resisted a strong challenge to her serve in the fifth game of the second.

Although Williams could not find a break point, she was at deuce twice and Kvitova needed to hold her nerve - particularly in the thick of a thrilling 16-shot rally - to stay in contention.

It appeared to be worth it when Kvitova earned herself a break and set point in the 10th game, but after failing to take it she fell to pieces, losing serve immediately after from 30-love.

The crucial point in the game was inexplicable too, planting a routine one-hander into the net after Williams had shanked a return. That was all the encouragement Williams needed and she duly served out for the match, hitting three aces in the process.