Rafael Nadal spared no room for sentiment on Saturday when he ended Andre Agassi's Wimbledon career with a display of ruthless brilliance on Centre Court.
The double French Open champion dispatched Agassi 7-6 6-2 6-4 in the third round, leaving the 36-year-old Las Vegan to wave farewell to the event he won in 1992 with a sad smile and a lump in his throat.
"It's been a lot of incredible years, I'll never be able to repay you for how you embraced me," Agassi said after blowing kisses to all four sides of an emotional Centre Court.
"Saying goodbye means as much as winning."
The American, one of only five men to have won all four grand slam events in his career, will retire from tennis after the US Open which starts on August 28 and on Saturday he tried everything to prolong his final visit to the All England Club.
Time has caught up with Agassi, though, and he could not contain 20-year-old Nadal's fulminating groundstrokes on the court where he won the first of his eight grand slam titles.
In scorching conditions more typical of his native Mallorca than England, the Spaniard produced an astonishing forehand pass and an ace to snatch the first set tiebreak after Agassi had led it 5-2.
From that point on Nadal dominated in a display that proved the claycourter was a genuine contender for the grasscourt grand slam and.
"It's unbelievable for me to play the last match with Andre, one of the best players in history," said second seed Nadal. "Today I played my best match on grass so I am very happy."
Australian Lleyton Hewitt, the 2002 champion, swept through to the last 16 with a 6-1 6-4 6-4 defeat of Belgian Olivier Rochus.
Scottish 19-year-old Andy Murray, the last surviving Briton in the singles, plays American third seed Andy Roddick on Centre Court later on a day when temperatures soared above 30 degrees Celsius.
Roddick is the last American left in the men's singles after defeats for Agassi and Mardy Fish, who retired from his match against Georgia's Irakli Labadze due to a stomach upset after losing the first set 6-2.
Labadze, the first Georgian to reach the fourth round since Alex Metreveli in 1976, faces Nadal next.
Russian seventh seed Elena Dementieva equalled her best Wimbledon performance by reaching round four with a 7-5 6-3 win over compatriot Elena Likhovtseva.
Another Russian, Anastasia Myskina also advanced to the last 16 but Dinara Safina bowed out.