Federer and Hewitt in Wimbledon last eight

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Roger Federer stayed on course for a third successive Wimbledon triumph with 2002 champion Lleyton Hewitt also hammering out his credentials…

Federer got past battling Spaniard Juan Carlos Ferrero 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (8/6) to rack up his 32nd successive grasscourt win and book his place in the quarter-finals.

The Swiss superstar next faces big hitting Chilean Fernando Gonzalez, a player the world number one has beaten in all of their four career meetings, with Hewitt potentially lying in wait in the semi-finals.

"Gonzalez is a good player, has a good serve and good forehand and he can be dangerous," said Federer whose most recent victory over the Chilean came at the French Open earlier this month.

"Grass should favour me and the crowd should see some good tennis."

Third seed Hewitt won a stormy fourth round centre court clash with America’s Taylor Dent 6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (7/9), 6-3 where he was accused of "bitching".

He will now face Feliciano Lopez who became the first Spanish man to make the last eight in 33 years.

American second seed Roddick also moved into the last eight with a 6-3, 7-6 (7/1), 6-4 over Argentina’s Guillermo Coria.

The 23-year-old Federer was far from his best on Monday but he raced into a two-sets lead after just 72 minutes.

Former French Open winner Ferrero had a rare break point in the eighth game of the third set which Federer saved with an ace.

The Spaniard put in a sloppy service game in the 11th game and was broken after another gruelling rally which culminated in a winning deep, backhand cross-courter by Federer.

But Ferrero battled back to achieve his first break of the match to send the third set into a tiebreaker.

He saved a match point with a service winner but was unable to keep out the second when Federer fired down a serve which Ferrero could only fend into the crowd.

Hewitt picked up a warning for verbal abuse and wasted two match points in the third set tiebreak before seeing off Dent. The Australian had cruised through the first two sets before going off the boil in the third.

In the fourth set, an increasingly petulant Hewitt, who had been dogged by foot faults all afternoon, fumed at an overrule by umpire Enric Molina which prompted Dent to complain about his opponent’s "bitching".

"If Hewitt starts complaining and gets the calls, it’s unfair to other players. It’s his personality, he gets fired up, he’s yelling and it can be intimidating," said Dent.

Hewitt claimed that he didn’t believe his arguing influenced umpires.

"I don’t think it puts pressure on umpires, it’s not a factor," he said.

"I only questioned a couple of calls today. Taylor questioned calls as well, it’s the same at both ends."

The 23-year-old Lopez, the 26th seed, served and volleyed his way to a 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 win over Croatian 10th seed Mario Ancic.

Manuel Orantes, in 1972, was the last Spaniard to make the last eight at the All England Club. Manuel Santana was the only Spanish men’s champion in 1966.

Roddick’s reward for his win is a last eight clash with French ninth seed Sebastien Grosjean who beat Russia’s Dmitry Tursunov 6-4, 6-7 (5/7), 6-3, 3-6, 6-1.

The 22-year-old American wrapped up a one-sided clash with Coria, whose eight career titles have all come on clay, in just 1hr 52min.

Gonzalez put out Russia’s Mikhail Youzhny 7-6 (7/3), 7-6 (7/5), 6-3 to become the first Chilean since 1985 to reach the last eight.

Argentina’s David Nalbandian, the 2002 runner-up, saw off French teenager Richard Gasquet and will now take on Sweden’s Thomas Johansson who put out Max Mirnyi of Belarus.

Nalbandian eased past Gasquet 6-4, 7-6 (7/3), 6-0 while former Australian Open winner Johansson, seeded 12, saw off Mirnyi 6-4, 7-5, 6-4.