PARIS, June 2 (UPI) -- Third seed Juan Carlos Ferrero of Spain advanced Monday to a quarterfinal clash with rising Chilean Fernando Gonzalez thanks to a 6-2, 6-1, 6-1 demolition of compatriot Felix Mantilla in the fourth round of the French Open.
Gonzalez dispatched Finland's Jarkko Nieminen, 6-3, 6-3, 6-2, to match his best result in a Grand Slam. He defeated Ferrero to win the 1998 boys' singles final here and has won both their previous matchups on tour.
"Gonzalez plays well, he is fast, he serves well and has an excellent forehand," Ferrero said. "He is very aggressive and is capable of hitting a cannon ball on his second or third ball in a rally."
Last year's runner-up, Ferrero has looked brilliant in reaching the quarterfinals here for the fourth year in a row. He believes he is in better shape than he has ever been and is ready to go one step further than last year.
"I am definitely in control of my game at the moment," said the 22-year-old, who was a semifinalist here in 2000 and 2001. "Physically I am far better than last year and mentally I am relaxed and confident. I have not spent too much time on court either and that helps."
Ferrero fell in the final last year to Albert Costa in straight sets after suffering from recurring ankle and shoulder injuries throughout the tournament. This year, he is feeling confident after winning titles at the Monte Carlo Masters and Valencia.
Like Ferrero, Gonzalez also spent little time on the court, needing only 93 minutes to extend his winning streak to eight matches. He also reached the quarterfinals last year at the U.S. Open, where he beat Ferrero in the third round.
The ninth-seeded Costa avoided his fourth straight five-set marathon by beating Arnaud Clement of France, 6-2, 7-5, 7-5. He went into his fourth-round match after spending a combined 11 hours, 56 minutes on the court, added about four more hours to that total to defeat Clement for the third time in as many meetings.
Costa will take on fellow Spaniard Tommy Robredo in the quarterfinals. Robredo eliminated three-time French Open winner Gustavo Kuerten of Brazil, 6-4, 1-6, 7-6 (7-2).
The 21-year-old Robredo, who ousted top-seeded Lleyton Hewitt on Saturday, advanced to the quarterfinals of a major for the first time in his career. As a junior, he reached the boys' final and claimed the junior doubles crown here in 2000.
Spaniards filled four spots in the quarterfinals for the first time at the French Open.
Another former French Open junior champion, Guillermo Coria outslugged fellow Argentine Mariano Zabaleta, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4, 5-7, 6-7 (4-7), 6-3, in four hours and 41 minutes to advance to the last eight at a major for the first time.
In a match stopped due to darkness on Sunday, Zabaleta frequently went for his shots while Coria was content to engage in long rallies from all over the court.
Zabaleta lost despite hitting 97 winners to just 46 for his opponent. Coria made 87 unforced errors, substantially less than Zabaleta's 146.
While he battled through five sets, Coria has been one of the hottest claycourt performances this season. He won the Hamburg Masters and reached two other finals on clay. He'll need all his expertise on the surface when he faces second seed and 1999 champion Andre Agassi, the man who won their fourth-round meeting in the Australian Open in January.