Sports News

Ferrer overcomes tough battle against Kamke in Auckland

AUCKLAND (Reuters) - Top seed David Ferrer will face fellow former champion Philipp Kohlschreiber in the Auckland Open quarter-finals on Thursday after both survived tough second round matches on Wednesday.

Ferrer, the 2007 champion and current world number seven, needed almost 2-1/2 hours to beat rising German Tobias Kamke 3-6 7-6 6-4, while Kohlschreiber was also forced to three sets before he prevailed 6-4 3-6 6-2 over Spain’s Marcel Gronollers.

Ferrer was blown away in the first set in just 35 minutes by the 24-year-old Kamke, who won the ATP Tour’s Newcomer of the Year award last year when he improved from 254th in the world to number 67.

Kamke fought hard in the second set, running the Spaniard ragged across the baseline but Ferrer managed to force a tiebreak, which he ran away with 7-1.

He then broke Kamke in the ninth game of the third set, and despite being 0-30 down while serving for the match, fought back to seal it with an ace and said he expected just as tough a match against Kohlschreiber.

“When I’ve played with Kohlschreiber it’s a tough match. He plays with great power and he’s difficult to play with in the rallies,” Ferrer said.

“I need to be very focused and receive very good. I think it will be a very physical match.”

Champion John Isner, who combined with Bethanie Mattek-Sands to guide the United States to the Hopman Cup title in Perth last week, shed his travel cobwebs with a 3-6 7-6 7-5 victory over Robin Haase of the Netherlands in the night match.

Isner, who sealed victory when Hasse blasted a forehand out, will meet sixth-seed David Nalbandian on Thursday after the Argentine easily accounted for Philipp Petzschner 6-3 6-2 in a little over an hour.

“I played very good tennis today, it was much better than yesterday and it will give me confidence,” Nalbandian said.

Second seed Nicolas Almagro beat towering Romanian Victor Hanescu 6-4 7-6, while seventh seed Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil beat former world top 10 player Tommy Robredo 6-4 3-6 6-1.

Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Alastair Himmer