Serena Williams's 6-0, 6-0 victory over Carla Suarez Navarro might have been a coup for the defending US Open champion, but it hardly portrayed the sport of women's tennis in the most positive light.
This was the first "double bagel" in a grand slam quarter-final since the 1989 US Open, when Martina Navratilova inflicted a clean sweep on Manuela Maleeva, and only the second in the open era.
Williams and Navratilova are both clearly giants of the game. Many would argue they are the two best female players in history. Yet the fans who had paid between $76 and $895 for quarter-final tickets in Arthur Ashe Stadium must have expected more than a 52-minute rout. No wonder they were restless during the match that followed, between Andy Murray and Denis Istomin.
Afterwards, Williams referred to the blustery conditions as she made excuses for her outclassed opponent. "I definitely think the wind was tough for her," she said, adding that she had become used to the peculiar way it swirls around this giant concrete bowl after having played at the US Open for "like 50 years".
Clearly, though, there is a depth problem in women's tennis. Since the withdrawal of Maria Sharapova - whose agent, Max Eisenbud, says she may take the rest of the year off to recover from inflammation in her serving shoulder - the bookmakers have made Williams such a strong favourite that she is practically unbackable.
Without Sharapova, we came into this tournament with Sara Errani - the 5ft 4in Italian - as the fourth seed. Errani is a hard-working player who is nevertheless so short on power that it is virtually inconceivable to imagine her winning a grand slam title on a faster surface like grass or hard court. As it happened, Errani lost 6-3, 6-1 to Flavia Pennetta in the second round and then complained that "some weeks I'm feeling too much pressure?...?is like four days that I'm like shaking, sleeping very bad, feeling bad".
During last year's Wimbledon, Andy Murray used Errani's example to point out the discrepancies created by equal pay for both genders. She has reached at least the semi-final of both singles and ladies' doubles at the French Open for the last two years, banking over 1 million euros in 2012. Yet this is an impossible feat for any man to contemplate, in view of the extra physical workload created by best-of-five set matches.
Murray's solution, he clarified this week, would be for everyone to play over five sets at the grand slams. Yet Williams' double-bagel makes you wonder whether there is any real appetite for such a shift.
Meanwhile, Britain's last representative went out of the doubles as Dom Inglot and his Filipino partner Treat Huey were beaten 7-5, 6-3 in the quarter-finals by 10th seeds Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo.