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Ferrer, Kohlschreiber To Clash For Auckland Crown

Auckland, New Zealand

Ferrer© Getty ImagesDavid Ferrer needed just 49 minutes to get past Gael Monfils.

World No. 5 David Ferrer set up a clash of former champions at the Heineken Open on Friday, dismissing wild card Gael Monfils 6-1, 6-2 in Auckland. The two-time reigning champion will face off against 2008 titlist Philipp Kohlschreiber in Saturday’s final.

“For me it is better to have won in two sets and be able to rest for tomorrow,” said Ferrer. “It will be fast and flat and lots of power with his serves.”

Ferrer was winless in his three previous meetings with Monfils, but quickly erased his past struggles against the Frenchman, winning 89 percent of his first serve points. He broke Monfils four times to wrap up the semi-final victory in just 49 minutes.

The 30-year-old Spaniard is bidding to win a record-tying fourth title at the ATP World Tour 250 hard-court event. Ferrer led the ATP World Tour with seven titles and 76 match wins in 2012. He holds a 6-3 edge over Kohlschreiber and won their most recent meeting, coming in the Auckland quarter-finals last year.

Second-seeded Kohlschreiber defeated fourth seed Sam Querrey 6-4, 7-6(2) to reach his second final at the tournament. Kohlschreiber capitalised on two of his four break points and matched Querrey’s 10 aces to advance in 71 minutes, improving to 22-6 in Auckland. The World No. 19 pulled even with the American 2-2 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series, winning their first match played outside of Grand Slam competition.

“At the beginning of the season, it's the best thing after a long period of practising, that you achieve some success in the tournaments,” said Kohlschreiber. “It feels great to be here. I really like the conditions. Every match, I've played a little bit better the next day and I hope to continue in tomorrow's final.”

Kohlschreiber is coming off a career-best season, having finished inside the Top 20 of the Emirates ATP Rankings for the first time. The German is looking to win his fifth ATP World Tour trophy, with his latest triumph coming on home soil at the BMW Open in Munich last year (d. Cilic).

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