Fourth seed David Ferrer was sent crashing out of the U.S. Open by Frenchman Gilles Simon on Sunday, becoming the biggest men's scalp to be taken so far during the final grand slam of the tennis season, while former women's champion Maria Sharapova also exited.
In oppressively humid conditions at Flushing Meadows, Simon and Ferrer traded the first two sets 6-3 before Simon found another level to wrap up the final two sets 6-1 6-3
The 26th seed took advantage of some sloppy play by Ferrer, who made 52 unforced errors and appeared to be struggling physically with the heat in the third-round tie.
It was a timely victory for Simon, who had lost five of his past six meetings against the Spaniard.
"He destroyed me five times before," Simon said after the match.
"I just tried to stay loose and relaxed and enjoy myself on court. But I am tired. The weather forecast said it would be cooler today but it didn't feel like it. We ran so much and I am happy to finish in four sets because I knew that against David it would be really hard in the fifth."
Simon will play Croatian 14th seed Marin Cilic, who beat South Africa's Kevin Anderson in four sets.
"I always have a tough fight with Marin," Simon said after Cilic's victory.
Simon has beaten Cilic in his last four encounters but is not taking anything for granted. "Yes, but did you check the scores?! It was always in five sets! We know each other well. It will be a tough fight."