While much attention focused on whether Andy Roddick could delay his retirement by beating fellow former U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro, one of tennis' quiet achievers slipped into the quarterfinals at Flushing Meadows on Tuesday.
David Ferrer has spent much of his career in the shadow of Rafael Nadal, but the 30-year-old joined his absent compatriot in becoming only the second Spaniard to reach the last eight of all four grand slams in a calendar year since the start of the professional era in 1968.
"I'm very happy for that," the world No. 5 said after overcoming multiple rain delays to beat French 13th seed Richard Gasquet 7-5 7-6 (7-2) 6-4.
"This season is the best of all my career. I'm playing consistent all the year."
Ferrer reached the semifinals in New York in 2007, but had not gone past round four again until now. However, he made it to the semifinals at Roland Garros in June and also the last eight at January's Australian Open and Wimbledon in July.
He will next face either eighth seed Janko Tipsarevic or Germany's No. 19 Phillip Kohlschreiber, who trailed the Serbian 5-2 in the opening set before rain halted their fourth-round match.
Former world No. 1 Roddick, who will quit after the tournament, was locked at 6-6 with 2009 U.S. Open winner Del Potro, having won the first point of the tiebreak when they went off the court.
The winner of that fourth-round match will face either defending champion Novak Djokovic or Swiss 18th seed Stanislas Wawrinka.
That clash was even less advanced when the weather intervened, with Serbian second seed Djokovic leading 2-0 in the opening set as he bids to match Ferrer, Andy Murray and Roger Federer in having reached at least the quarterfinals of all this season's slams.
Olympic champion Murray will take to Arthur Ashe Court against Croatian 12th seed Marin Cilic in their last-eight clash when the Roddick-Del Potro match is over.
World No. 1 Federer will play Czech sixth seed Tomas Berdych in Wednesday's evening session, needing just three more wins to clinch a record sixth title in the Open era.
However, the Swiss will potentially face a semifinal rematch with Murray, who he beat in the 2008 final. They shared the honors in the two tournaments at Wimbledon this year.
Ferrer, meanwhile, is hoping that his moments of fortune so far will translate into a first grand slam title.
"I think I have luck in important moments because I was set-points down in the second set (against Gasquet)," he said.
"The first round with (Kevin) Anderson I was also three set-points down. With (Igor) Sijsling in the second round also the same. So I think in important moments I played good, but of course I had luck."