By Pritha Sarkar
PARIS (Reuters) - David Ferrer was deafened but not stirred as he silenced shrieking Spaniard Marcel Granollers with a 6-3 6-2 6-0 demolition job in the fourth round of the French Open on Monday.
While fans are accustomed to the likes of Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka ratcheting up the decibel levels, Granollers proved that grunting was not confined to the women's game.
Unusually, Granollers often groans well after the ball has flown off his racket but despite his antics, a focused Ferrer reached the last eight for the third time.
Sixth seed Ferrer has now won 12 straight sets, dropping only 25 games, and will be favorite to make it through to his first semi-final here when he faces either fourth seed Andy Murray or local hope Richard Gasquet.
Granollers had failed to take a set off his fellow Spaniard in three previous meetings and it seems that even the local TV networks gave him no chance of winning on Monday.
Television graphics showed Ferrer as a 2012 Roland Garros quarter-finalist long before a ball had been struck in the fourth-round match which was often played through drizzling rain and gusting winds.
However, no amount of wailing or rain could stop Ferrer from showering the court with 41 winners - compared to 17 from Granollers - as he charged through the last seven games to secure victory.
Such is the presence of Ferrer on court, his challenger in the previous round, Mikhail Youzhny, felt the need to apologize to the fans mid-match and carved out the word 'sorry' into the clay with his shoe.
There were no apologies from Granollers on Monday, just an acceptance that he had been beaten by a better player.
"David today played better and better... (and) I couldn't play better than what I played today," said Granollers, who enjoyed his best performance at a slam in Paris.
Ferrer, meanwhile, took the opportunity to scrawl "happy birthday" into the courtside camera lens as he walked off court.
Asked if he was wishing his friend Rafa Nadal, who turned 26 on Sunday, a belated happy birthday, he quipped: "I like Rafa very much, but not that much.
"It's my fiancée's birthday, my girlfriend."
Ferrer is one of three players yet to drop a set at Roland Garros - and they all happen to be Spaniards.
Nicolas Almagro booked his place in the last eight with a 12-0 sets record at this year's tournament and he could next face six-times champion Nadal, who will be aiming to preserve his perfect run when in takes on Argentine Juan Monaco in a fourth-round contest later on Monday.
(Editing by Alison Wildey)