By Piers Newbery
BBC Sport at Wimbledon
The experience of Lleyton Hewitt proved the difference as he beat Feliciano Lopez 7-5 6-4 7-6 (7-2) to reach his third Wimbledon semi-final.
Lopez was playing in his first Grand Slam quarter-final and made a strong start before faltering at key moments.
Hewitt dropped serve early on but recovered quickly, breaking twice in the first set and once in the second.
And a Lopez error on match point in the third set tie-break set up a clash with Roger Federer.
Lopez came into the match on the back of wins over Marat Safin and Mario Ancic, and he started in confident mood.
After missing two break points in the fifth game he converted a third thanks to a net cord, but a double fault brought Hewitt level at 4-4.
A tie-break appeared likely but Lopez was unable to hang on, saving two set points in game 12 before netting an easy forehand on the third.
It was a similar story in the second when, trailing 5-4, Lopez saved another two set points before this time putting a backhand in the net.
An uneventful third set went to a tie-break and Hewitt again stepped up a level when it mattered, reeling off three straight points from 4-1 on his way to victory.
"He played extremely well right from the start and was the one dictating play," Hewitt told BBC Sport afterwards.
"I just had to wait for my opportunities but started seeing the ball like a football and was playing better and better."
And looking to his next match, Hewitt said: "Federer's number one, so it's like a final for me."
Lopez said: "I think he played a great match. He was a bit nervous at the beginning but after that he served unbelievably.
"I was trying to play my best tennis in the second and third sets but against the best players in the world you don't get any opportunities."