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Ferrer Beats Rochus To Win Third Auckland Title

Auckland, New Zealand

Ferrer© Getty ImagesDavid Ferrer won his 12th title Saturday in Auckland.

World No. 5 David Ferrer successfully defended his Heineken Open title on Saturday, defeating Olivier Rochus 6-3, 6-4 to win his 12th ATP World Tour trophy. "It was a pretty tough match," said Ferrer. "I think in the second set, we played good tennis. I think the key was the difference with my first serve and his."

Ferrer lost serve just once, winning 83 per cent of his first serve points. He broke Rochus three times in his four break opportunities to win a record-tying third title at the event in one hour and 36 minutes. The Spaniard joins Onny Parun (1973, ’75-76) and Roy Emerson (1960, ‘65-67) as the only three-time champions. "I love to play here," Ferrer said. "To me, winning today was more special than the other times because players are more difficult and I'm older now."

With the victory, Ferrer improved to a 6-2 record against the 68th-ranked Belgian. Ferrer has won 52 of his past 53 matches against players ranked outside the Top 50, with his lone loss during the stretch coming to then-No. 239 Ivo Karlovic at the BNP Paribas Open last year.

Rochus was bidding to end a title drought dating back to 2006, when he triumphed in Munich to win his second crown. He drops to a 2-8 final record. Ferrer is now 12-14 in title matches. "I played a good final and I think the level was great," assessed Rochus. "It was very tough physically. There were a lot of long rallies. I'm happy with how I played today and throughout the week... He was just better than me in the crucial moments."

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