David Ferrer made it through to the fourth round of the US Open by producing a solid display of tennis to see off the challenge of Australian wildcard Lleyton Hewitt.
Despite being pegged back in the second set by the 125th-ranked Hewitt, the Spanish fourth seed eventually prevailed 7-6 (11/9), 4-6, 6-3, 6-0.
Ferrer stayed on course for a semi-final meeting with Novak Djokovic but he had to be at his gritty best to book his place in the next round.
Hewitt, 31, has not reached the last 16 at the US Open since 2006 and was nagged by groin and foot problems in the past year.
But he showed plenty of early fight in the opening set tiebreaker, rallying for a 6-3 lead, but then squandering five set-point chances before Ferrer took advantage, ending the 74-minute set when Hewitt netted a backhand.
Hewitt broke to open the second set and held to the finish to level the match, Ferrer swatted a forehand long to drop the set two hours into the fight.
But the Spaniard broke Hewitt to seize a 2-0 lead in the third set. The Aussie conceding the break with his third double fault of the match, and Ferrer held the rest of the way to claim the third set.
Hewitt double-faulted away another break to open the fourth set and Ferrer jumped ahead 3-0 after Hewitt send a forehand long and 5-0 after the Aussie netted a backhand to end a nine-minute game before holding comfortably for the victory.
"I'm having the best season of my career and I think it's the right time," Ferrer said. "I'm 30 years old."
After defeating the 2001 US Open champion, Ferrer will next face the winner of the match between French 13th seed Richard Gasquet and 245-ranked reigning US college champion Steve Johnson.