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Ferrer, Haas Reach Quarter-finals

Auckland, New Zealand

Ferrer© Getty ImagesDavid Ferrer is bidding for his fourth Auckland title this week.

Top seed and three-time champion David Ferrer was made to work hard for his quarter-final berth at the Heineken Open on Wednesday, edging Yen-Hsun Lu 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 in just under two hours. Both players broke serve four times from 10 opportunities, with Ferrer winning just four points more than Lu to prevail. 

The 30-year-old Ferrer improved to a 21-5 record at this ATP World Tour 250 hard-court tournament. He won the trophy for the first time in 2007 (d. Robredo) before clinching back-to-back titles in 2011 (d. Nalbandian) and 2012 (d. Rochus).

"For the past three years I have won the first round in three sets" said Ferrer. "The most important thing is that I won the match. I am positive and I need to think about how to play better tomorrow to stop mistakes like today.”

Ferrer takes a 2-0 FedEx ATP Head2Head career lead into his quarter-final clash with Slovakia’s Lukas Lacko. This week he is trying for his 19th ATP World Tour title, which would inch him closer to the milestone of 500 match wins. He currently has a 492-247 record.

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Third seed Tommy Haas opened his campaign after a first-round bye with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Dutchman Igor Sijsling. Germany’s Haas needed just 56 minutes to prevail, breaking serve three times and winning 79 percent of points on serve.

“You never know what to expect in your first match of the year. Coming out against someone who has played four matches is quite tricky,” said Haas. “You’re still trying to find your game and your rhythm in the build-up to the Australian Open.”

The 34-year-old Haas is playing in Auckland for the first time since 2000. He reached the final on his debut appearance in 1999 (l. to Schalken). He goes onto face France's Gael Monfils.

Looking ahead to the clash with Monfils, Haas said, "[He] has had a rough year with injuries and time away from the game, which I understand. He is eager to come back and prove himself as a Top 20 or Top 10 player. Tomorrow it will come down to who handles the pressure and plays the bigger points better.”

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