American John Isner used his powerful serve and forehand to record a 7-6 (7-3), 3-6, 6-3 victory over Spain's Fernando Verdasco at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California.
With the defeat of Verdasco and countrymen Feliciano Lopez and Roberto Bautista-Agut on Wednesday, no Spaniards remain in this elite hard-court event.
The 30-year-old Verdasco, who reached the quarterfinals of Indian Wells in 2009 before losing to Roger Federer, came up short in his bid to equal that result at this year's tournament.
Neither player threatened his opponent's serve in the first set, which came down to a tiebreaker. Isner grabbed a mini-break with a powerful forehand from behind the baseline and then took the set when the Spaniard committed an unforced error at the net.
Verdasco responded quickly, however, grabbing an early service break in the second set and then comfortably finishing it off by jerking the American around from the baseline with his lethal forehand.
But Isner seized the momentum again by breaking Verdasco's serve in the sixth game of the third set and then held serve two more times to clinch the victory over the Spaniard, who had won the players' only previous match at the 2009 U.S. Open.
The American did plenty of damage with his first serve and won 10 points with aces, but his 73 percent winning percentage on second-serve points was the biggest key to his victory.
Next up for Isner in the quarterfinals will be Latvia's Ernests Gulbis, who topped Bautista-Agut 7-6 (7-0), 4-6, 6-2.
The winner of that match will take on either France's Julien Benneteau, a 6-3, 7-6 (7-4) winner over Lopez, or Serbian world No. 2 and second seed Novak Djokovic, who rallied to defeat Croatia's Marin Cilic 1-6, 6-2, 6-3 in Wednesday's night match.
The quarterfinal matches are also set on the top half of the draw.
Switzerland's Roger Federer cruised to a 6-4, 6-4 win over good friend and fellow tour veteran Tommy Haas and on Thursday will take on big-serving South African Kevin Anderson, who stunned Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka 7-6 (7-1), 4-6, 6-1.
Thursday's other men's quarterfinal match will pit Ukraine's Alexandr Dolgopolov, a 6-2, 6-4 winner over Italy's Fabio Fognini, against Canada's Milos Raonic, who upset Scotland's Andy Murray 4-6, 7-5, 6-3.
In women's action Wednesday, Romania's Simona Halep continued to cement her place as one of the world's top players by routing Australian qualifier Casey Dellacqua 6-2, 6-2.
She will square off in the semifinals against second-seeded Pole Agnieszka Radwanska, who edged Serbia's Jelena Jankovic 7-5, 2-6, 6-4.
The BNP Paribas Open is one of the biggest hard-court events on the ATP and WTA calendars. EFE