Fish, the No.10 seed, edged a first-set tiebreak 7-5 before pulling away to set up a last-eight clash with Rafa Nadal. Fish chalked up 23 aces and signed off with an emphatic smash.
“It’s not what you set out to do. Being the highest-ranked American, I guess on both sides now, is a pretty high responsibility,” said the world No.9. “You feel like people are watching more than before, especially with me,” added the 29-year-old, clearly buoyed by his stellar performance against the dangerous Czech.
“This is probably one of the best serving days I’ve had,” said Fish, after facing just two break points.
In his first-round defeat of Marcel Granollers, Fish faced no break points and his serve is clicking at just the right time.
“I’ve gone through some runs in my career where I’ve served well. I think at one point I broke a record, Pete’s [Sampras] record, that was broken numerous times by Roddick and then Federer.”
Federer dropped his first set of the tournament before his immense attention to detail helped him overcome Mikhail Youzhny 6-7, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3.
“It was a tough first set to lose as I was playing well,” said Federer, who next meets 12th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France. “Clearly losing the first set in a slam is tough mentally. I was happy I played really well in the second set. It was getting dark . . . in the end the sun came up and it was perfect.”
The third seed, bidding to equal Sampras’ record of seven Wimbledon titles, had the first-set tiebreak in the bag but some sloppy shots allowed the 18th-seeded Russian to storm back and take it 7-5. However, Federer’s concentration quickly improved with even a low-flying pigeon failing to ruffle him when serving. The often emotionless Swiss simply dropped the ball on the grass, composed himself and played on.
An array of clever leaves, confident volleys and backhands landing right on the baseline put Federer level and then ahead while his use of line challenges was expert on two very tight calls, in contrast to the reckless Russian.
Federer amused the spellbound crowd by twice sending stray balls straight into the hands of the netside ballboys to widespread applause.
His pinpoint accuracy only wavered slightly when he fired several booming forehands long, but his ninth successive last-eight berth at the All England club was fully deserved as he beat Youzhny for the 11th time in a row.
“It’s always somewhat tricky playing on Court One. It feels a touch slower, the sounds are a bit different,” said Federer said of his rare foray away from Centre Court. “I’m looking forward to a tough battle with Tsonga.”
Federer, meanwhile, marched into his 29th consecutive grand slam quarter-final with a four-set victory over the Russian 18th seed, Mikhail Youzhny.
The Swiss dropped the opening set, his first of the tournament, on a tie-break but hit back to complete a 6-7 (5) 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 win in just over three hours.
The 29-year-old is chasing a record-equalling seventh title and will play the 12th seed, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, for a place in the semi-finals.
Federer had progressed serenely through to the last 16, barely dropping a point on his own serve. At times last night he was at his imperious best, mixing backhand passes with inside-out forehand winners, deft volleys and even a through-the-legs shot from the baseline.
Youzhny had lost all of his previous 10 meetings with Federer but refused to go down quietly and he made the Swiss third seed work for his victory, right from the outset.
The opening set went with serve, with neither player even working a break-point opportunity.
Federer went 4-1 up in the tie-break but Youzhny, helped by a lucky net-cord, reversed the momentum. He strung together five consecutive points to lead 6-4 before claiming the set at the second opportunity.
It took an hour and 12 minutes before the first break of serve in the match and, perhaps inevitably, it came from Federer who moved 3-2 up in the second set.
Federer secured it in masterful fashion, with a forehand drop-shot which Youzhny chased down desperately but he ended up diving head-first into the net.
Federer consolidated the advantage with an emphatic service game - Youzhny had still not worked a break-point opportunity - and he then came to the net to earn three set points at 5-3.
Youzhny battled to stay alive in the set, defending all three to take the game to deuce, including an 87mph first serve that caught Federer on the hop and a thunderous smash.
But Federer had the momentum behind him. He made just two unforced errors in the set and drew level in the match.
Youzhny took a bathroom break between sets and it appeared to upset Federer’s rhythm as the Russian earned his first three break points of the match.
But Federer saw them off and then broke Youzhny for a 2-0 lead, coming from 15-40 to earn the opportunity with a sweet backhand winner before the Russian double-faulted to hand him the game.
Youzhny had little answer to Federer’s variety, which included his trick shot from the baseline that the Russian could only volley into the net.
Federer went on to break Youzhny’s serve for a second time in the set, to take a 5-0 lead, and then produced a subtle sliced back-hand to earn set point.
Youzhny whistled down two aces to hold serve and then worked his way back into the set by breaking Federer for the first time to make it 5-3.
But Federer regained focus to wrap up the set 6-3 with an inside-out forehand at an angle that was just too acute for Youzhny to get back.
Federer put that wobble behind him to break Youzhny in the opening game of the fourth set and claim what proved to the match-winning advantage.
Federer was pouncing on Youzhny’s serve, playing as if he was anxious to wrap things up quickly but the Russian would not go quietly.
Youzhny dug himself out of trouble in his next two service games. It was delaying the inevitable but made for rich entertainment on Court One.
Youzhny then saved two match points before Federer eventually sealed the fourth set and the match.