to a match she might have gone on to win had she taken a point to level at 5-5.
Instead, despite blowing a 0-40 advantage in the final nerve-jangling game Kerber sealed victory when Sharapova flailed a backhand over the baseline.
"I was a little bit nervous because I was thinking, you know, if it's now 5-5, everything starts from zero," Kerber, who faces 20-year-old rising star Eugenie Bouchard in the quarter-final on Wednesday, said.
A day after Bouchard became the first Canadian to reach a Wimbledon quarter-final in the professional era, compatriot Milos Raonic underlined the country's upward curve with a four-set victory over Japan's 10th seed Kei Nishikori.
Not a bad way to celebrate Canada Day, although Raonic will not be partying with Kyrgios to face on Wednesday.
Last year's runner-up Sabine Lisicki made sure there would be two Germans in the women's quarters when she overcame a shoulder injury to beat Kazakhstan's Yaroslava Shvedova 6-3 3-6 6-4.
She will face Romania's "Miss Consistency" Simona Halep after the third seed raced to a 6-3 6-0 win over Kazakhstan's Zarina Diyas. Halep reached the French Open final earlier this month and began the year with a quarter-final run in Australia.