David Ferrer's reign as Heineken Open champion has come to an end after he lost 6-4 7-6 to Yen-Hsun Lu from Taiwan.
The world No 3 was going for his fourth straight title in Auckland and fifth overall, but as he has played for the whole week, Ferrer struggled to get into his rhythm.
Ferrer has played against opponents ranked well below him for the whole of this tournament and struggled to put them away.
It took him three sets to beat Donald Young in his first match and he was forced to go the distance against Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in the quarterfinals.
It ends Ferrer's unbeaten streak at this tournament at 14 matches, a run that stretched back to 2010, when he lost in the first round to Arnaud Clermont from France.
Against Lu, it was a similar problem for Ferrer as he struggled in the early part of his match and he was broken in the fifth game.
While he was able to get the set back to 4-4, he got broke again to concede the set.
There was one break apiece in the second set, before it headed into a tiebreak.
Lu had a couple of mini breaks early and although Ferrer was able to level it up a couple of times also, Lu got himself into a position to serve for the match at 6-4 and when Ferrer overhit a return the king was dead, long live a new king.
In the final Lu, who has a world ranking of 62, will play John Isner, who defeated Roberto Bautista Agut from Spain 3-6 7-6 6-4 in the earlier semifinal.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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