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Ferrer, Isner Scrape Into Semis

Auckland, New Zealand

Isner© Getty ImagesJohn Isner squeezed past Philipp Kohlschreiber in three tie-breaks.

David Ferrer claimed his 14th successive win at the Heineken Open on Thursday in Auckland as he fought past Spanish countryman Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 in just over two hours. The top seed saved seven of the 10 break points he faced, while converting all four of his opportunities in the pair’s first meeting for more than three years.

"It was a very tough match with a lot of rallies and long points," said Ferrer. "But I feel good. I played better than last night and I'm happy because I'm in the semi-finals. I played more aggressive, nothing seems like yesterday."

The 31-year-old Ferrer is chasing his fifth Auckland crown this week and has a 25-5 event record. The Valencia native won the title the past three years and also lifted the trophy in 2007. 

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The 2010 champion and third seed John Isner overcame fifth seed Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-7(4), 7-6(4), 7-6(5) in a match that lasted two hours and 24 minutes and had no breaks of serve. Isner fired 18 aces against the 2008 champion.

"Every time I've played him it's been very close," said Isner. "I tend to play a lot of close matches regardless, but especially against him. It was super close and very competitive. There's some things I definitely could have done better. But all in all I'm happy. I served unbelievably well today and that's the only reason I won."

In the day's first battle, the run of wild card Jack Sock ended after the American fell 6-1, 6-3 to Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut.

The quarter-final match, interrupted twice by rain, took 63 minutes to complete, capped off by Bautista Agut breaking Sock in the final game. "When [it is raining] you have to stay focused and not get frustrated," said the Spaniard. "When you start the match again, you try to start well, play hard and stay focused." Bautista Agut will face Isner in the semi-finals.

On Wednesday, Sock had posted the biggest win of his career by taking down World No. 12 Tommy Haas in the second round.

This year was the first time since 1988 that three Americans reached the quarter-finals in Auckland. Along with Sock and Isner, lucky loser Steve Johnson also secured a place in the final eight, winning back-to-back matches on Wednesday. He could not carry over that success into Thursday, falling to Yen-Hsun Lu 6-4, 6-4 in 72 minutes.

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Gonzalez/Lipsky Lose In QFs
In the doubles quarter-finals, second seeds Julian Knowle and Marcelo Melo defeated Germans Andre Begemann and Martin Emmrich 4-6, 6-1, 11-9 while Daniele Bracciali and Lukas Dlouhy upset fourth seeds Santiago Gonzalez and Scott Lipsky 3-6, 6-3, 10-5. 

Bracciali/Dlouhy will face top seeds Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares in the semi-finals after the Austrian-Brazilian duo beat Frederik Nielsen and Igor Sijsling 7-5, 7-5. Eric Butorac and Raven Klaasen completed the semi-final line-up, advancing when Jamie Murray and John Peers were forced to withdraw with Murray suffering a lower back injury.

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Lionel Maltese


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