Amelie Mauresmo ended home interest in the Australian Open women's event with a lacklustre win over Alicia Molik.
Unseeded Molik, in the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time, put up a spirited challenge, going up a break in the first and second sets.
But her lack of experience showed at the crucial moments and despite playing well below her best, Mauresmo sneaked through 7-5 7-5.
The 1999 finalist faces Fabiola Zuluaga in the quarter-finals.
Mauresmo, who missed last year's event through injury, said she would need treatment on a back injury before her last eight match.
"It was a very tough match, obviously she gave me a lot of trouble," Mauresmo said.
"I just really wanted to go through this one and go to the quarters."
With the victory, Mauresmo is assured of breaking into the top three for the first time when the next WTA Tour rankings are released.
Zuluaga, the 32nd seed, brushed aside Hungary's Aniko Kapros 6-4 6-2 to reach her first Grand Slam quarter-final.