Tennis: Williams barely breaks sweat to reach Toronto quarter-finals
Top seed Williams hammered 28 winners and blasted nine aces to beat the 16th seeded Petkovic for the fifth straight time.
Williams, who never faced a break point and held all nine of her service games in the 62-minute match on centre court, barely broke a sweat Thursday.
The 33-year-old American advances to the quarter-finals where she will face Roberta Vinci who snapped the modest win streak of rising star Daria Gavrilova with a 6-4, 6-3 win.
Williams has beaten Vinci in all three of their previous meetings, losing just 14 games in total.
Second seed Simona Halep smashed an ace on match point to defeat red-hot Angelique Kerber 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 and reach the quarter-finals.
Kerber had won seven in a row and was coming off her fourth title of 2015 after winning last week's Stanford tournament.
Halep served well Thursday, especially in the third set where she rallied from a 3-2 deficit.
Halep held serve to make it three-all and after the two traded breaks to get to four-all she roared home by winning the final two games at love to oust the number 13-seeded Kerber.
"I think I played better than yesterday," Halep said. "I feel more confident now. My serve didn't work very well, but I returned well. So I'm really happy that I could win this match. I was fighting until the end."
She ripped an ace out wide to close out the match, which lasted two hours and 23 minutes.
"I knew I had to win it, because at the end I was so tired I couldn't move anymore," Halep said.
Awaiting Halep is defending champion Agnieszka Radwanska, who rallied from 4-2 down in the third set to edge Frenchwoman Alize Cornet 6-2, 4-6, 6-4.
In the late match, fifth seeded Ana Ivanovic cruised past qualifier Polona Hercog 6-2, 6-3.
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