David Ferrer looks to serve up his legacy

00:14, Jan 12 2013
Heineken Open 2013
Benjamin Becker from Germany returns a shot in his match with Lukas Rosol of the Czech Republic.
Heineken Open 2013
Lukas Rosol on his way to losing his match with Benjamin Becker in straight sets.
Heineken Open 2013 gallery
A high gust of wind created a little havoc for the first umpire on court this morning.
Heineken Open 2013
Benjamin Becker lines up a serve on his way to winning his match with Lukas Rosol earlier today.
Heineken Open 2013
Igor Sijsling of Netherlands plays a backhand in his first round match against compatriot Matwe Middelkoop.
Heineken Open 2013
Matwe Middelkoop of Netherlands serves in his first round match against Igor Sijsling.
Heineken Open 2013
Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil plays a forehand during his first round match against David Goffin of Belgium.
David Goffin
David Goffin was spirited early in his match against Thomasz Bellucci before falling away to a straight sets loss.
Heineken Open 2013
Xavier Malisse of Belgium returns a shot in his match with Martin Klizan of Slovakia.
Heineken Open 2013
Martin Klizan of Slovakia fires a return during his match with Xavier Malisse today.
Xavier Malisse
Xavier Malisse showed great composure to claim an upset win in round one over seventh seed Martin Klizan.
Open 1
Australian Greg Jones receives medical attention during his qualifying match against Victor Hanescu of Romania on day one.
Open 2
Martin Kilzan, Slovakia, plays a backhand during his first round match against Belgian Xavier Malisse on day one.
Open 3
Greg Jones of Australia serves in his qualifying match against Victor Hanescu of Romania on day one.
Open 4
The artwork on the left leg of the Czech Republic's Lukas Rosol as he walks back to his chair during his match against Benjamin Becker of Germany on day one.
Igor Sijsling
Igor Sijsling moves into the second round after beating fellow Dutchman Robin Haase.
Greg Jones
Greg Jones powered past Jurgen Melzer in the first round of the Heineken Open, beating the sixth seed 7-6(7) 6-2.
Dan King-Turner
Dan King-Turner in action during his first round loss.
Gael Monfils
Gael Monfils entertained the fans during his win in three sets over Benjamin Becker.
Heineken Tennis Open
Colombia's Santiago Giraldo during day 3 of the 2013 ATP Heineken Tennis Open.
Heineken Open 2013
Xavier Malisse during day three of the 2013 ATP Heineken Tennis Open.
Heineken Open 2013
Olivier Rochus on day three of the Heineken Open New Zealand.
Heineken Open 2013
Heineken promotion girls at the Heineken Open.
Kohlschreiber
Philipp Kohlschreiber on his way to victory on day three of the Heineken Open.
Heineken Open 2013
Germany's Tommy Hass in training on day three.
Gael Monfils
Gael Monfils plays a shot between his legs during his straight sets win over Australian Greg Jones.
Tommy Haas
Tommy Haas was in blistering form in during his win over Igor Sijsling.
David Ferrer
David Ferrer hits a forehand during his three-set win over Lu Yen-Hsun.
Heineken Open 2013
Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany during day four of the Heineken Open New Zealand Quarter finals.
Heineken Open 2013
Belgium's Xavier Malisse in action on centre court in the quarter finals of the Heineken Open.
Heineken Open 2013
A fan watches the Heineken Open.
Querrey
Sam Querrey on day four of the Heineken Open.
Gel Monfils
Gel Monfils beat Tommy Haas to progress to the semifinals.
Heineken Open
Philipp Kohlschreiber from Gemany reacts as he wins the first semi final on day five of the Heineken Open.
Heineken Open 2013
Sam Querrey from the US stretches to return a ball from Philipp Kohlschreiber.
Heineken Open 2013
Philipp Kohlschreiber from Gemany on his way to winning the first semi final.
David Ferrer
David Ferrer celebrates his win against Gael Monfils.
Heineken Open 2013
David Ferrer beat Gael Monfils 6-1 6-2 in the second semi fianl of the Heineken Open.
David Ferrer
David Ferrer on his way to winning the Heineken Tennis Open.
David Ferrer
David Ferrer reacts to winning the Heineken Tennis Open for a record equaling forth time.

David Ferrer may be the fifth best tennis player on the planet but he doesn't feel a record belongs to him - just yet.

Today, the three-time champion is favoured to take care of German second seed Philipp Kohlschreiber, and move one step closer to achieving that feat in the Heineken Open final.

Australian legend Roy Emerson was the last player - 46 years ago - to win four titles in Auckland and, while there's no sense of a cakewalk, it's hard to see Kohlschreiber stopping Ferrer equalling the former 12-time Grand Slam winner.

David Ferrer
David Ferrer

"It's important, of course, because it's going to be a record, and I don't have any records in my career . . . I am not Rafael Nadal or Roger Federer," said the top seed, who won seven singles titles, more than any other player last year.

That may be true, but this tournament is Ferrer's home. Here, he commands Nadal and Federer-like status. A fourth title would only increase his legacy, stature and leave the door ajar to place his name above all others next year.

"I am important in my house," Ferrer said. "I like this tournament a lot. I like a lot these people. They have supported me all the years I came here."

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Ferrer's semi-final against Gael Monfils was a flop. The Frenchman proved he is a popular enigma. Brilliant one minute, absent the next. After being injured early, he never recovered, losing 6-1 6-2 in an anticlimactic 48 minutes.

After turning it on to dispatch third seed Tommy Haas on Thursday night, Monfils appeared disinterested yesterday. Physically, the entertaining and erratic wildcard wasn't up to it, though this is the start of his comeback trail.

"Yeah but that is not my problem," Ferrer said of Monfils' underwhelming interest. "You'll have to ask him. It was a surprise to win 6-1 6-2. For me it's better to have won in two sets and rest for tomorrow's final."

The demolition served to highlight Ferrer's unrelenting focus. No matter who is across the other side of the net, or how they perform, he remains on task.

If there is one morsel that suggests Kohlschreiber, who exposed big-serving American Sam Querrey's flaws in his straight sets semi-final win, might be able to cause a monumental upset it's that five years ago, when he won the title in Auckland, the world No 20 beat another Spaniard, Juan Carlos Ferraro.

"It was my second title. It was very special," Kohlschreiber recalled.

"Everything changes a little bit, you get older. The only thing that is the same is I play another Spanish guy in the final. Hopefully, it brings me luck."

History alone suggests Kohlschreiber is battling the odds. In nine previous meetings he's beaten Ferrer just three times. In Auckland, he lost on both times - in three sets in the 2011 quarter-finals and a walkover in '09.

"It's going to be the toughest for the week," Kohlschreiber said. "He's an unbelievable player. He had a huge season last year. For sure he's the favourite. I lost a couple of times to him already; I had a couple of victories. I think I get my chances. I really like the place here. I hope I can perform really well."

Fairfax Media