Spain's David Ferrer kisses the trophy after beating
Germany's Philipp Kohlschreiber to win the Heineken Open in
Auckland today. REUTERS/Nigel Marple
David Ferrer has joined Australian great Roy Emerson as
the most successful player in the history of the Heineken Open.
The world No 5 claimed his third-straight title and fourth
overall to equal the records set by Emerson in the 1960s.
Given Ferrer's form over the past few years and his
connection with Auckland, it wouldn't be a surprise to see
him set a new bar in 2014 and he immediately vowed to return
Ferrer's relentlessness is his main weapon and he used it to
good effect over second seed Philipp Kohlschreiber in his 7-6
6-1 victory. The German had his chances in the match,
breaking Ferrer twice in the first set and serving for the
set before Ferrer worked his way back into things.
The Spaniard took the first set in a tiebreaker (7-5) and
then put the hammer down in the second set to race away with
the title in one hour 18 minutes.
"It is amazing for me to win four times now," Ferrer said. "I
can say this is my favourite tournament for sure.
"Now I want to enjoy the moment because it's very special for
It was a good week, too, for Kohlschreiber who, like Ferrer,
has played nine times in Auckland. He might have added more
than the one title he won in 2008 if it wasn't for one thing.
"The tournament is great," he said. "The only problem is that
[Ferrer] keeps coming back. He's a tough guy and a great
champion for the tournament.
"I think I played unbelievably well. But it's very hard to
play against David. He never gives up and makes you play one
more shot every time. He raised his level and I dropped mine
a little bit and that's why the second went too fast."
Kohlschreiber framed a ball on match point and Ferrer
immediately looked to the heavens in thanks. He knew what
this meant and the Heineken Open has now contributed four of
his 19 career titles.
Kohlschreiber really needed to win the first set to put
Ferrer under pressure and he played some excellent tennis in
a set of thrust and counter-thrust. But Ferrer has built a
career around breaking down his opponents and refused to
yield even when he wasn't striking the ball as well as he
would have liked.
"Of course I will come back next year," Ferrer said. "I'm
sorry Philipp, but I will come back again."
Few would bet against him winning again, too.
- Michael Brown of APNZ