David Ferrer looks to serve up his legacy

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

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."

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