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Ferrer To Meet Rochus In Auckland Final

Auckland, New Zealand

Rochus© Getty ImagesOlivier Rochus reached his 10th ATP World Tour final Friday in Auckland.

World No. 5 David Ferrer is one win away from retaining the Heineken Open title after beating fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 6-4 on Friday in Auckland. Both players had won their quarter-final matches earlier in the day, after rain wreaked havoc on Thursday’s schedule.

Playing Verdasco for the 13th time, the top-seeded Ferrer created 12 break point opportunities and was able to convert one in each set to claim victory in 89 minutes.

The 29-year-old Ferrer defeated David Nalbandian in last year’s Auckland final to win the title for the second time, having also triumphed in 2007 with victory over Tommy Robredo. He is bidding to win his 12th ATP World Tour title.

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In the final, Ferrer will face World No. 68 Olivier Rochus, who ousted 2008 champion Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-7(4), 6-1, 6-4. The Belgian converted six of his nine break point opportunities against Kohlschreiber to take the semi-final clash in two hours and 28 minutes. With the win, Rochus evened his FedEx ATP Head 2 Head record with the German to a 2-2 mark.

"I almost didn't go on court against [Tobias] Kamke in the first round as I was feeling really bad with the flu, and five days later I'm in the final. I cannot believe it," exclaimed Rochus. "It's the magic of this game. I almost feel I'm playing the best tennis of my career!"

Rochus advanced to his 10th career final, and is bidding to win his third ATP World Tour title. His last triumph came in 2006, when he lifted the trophy at the BMW Open in Munich. He finished runner-up to John Isner at the Campbell’s Hall Of Fame Tennis Championships in Newport last year.

“I'll just try and enjoy the final and go for it,” said Rochus. “There's no pressure for me; I will play against one of the best players in the world in a final of an ATP event. This is why we practise, to get the chance to play these kinds of matches."

Kohlschreiber dropped to a 19-6 tournament record and was appearing in his third semi-final at the ATP World Tour 250 event.

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