Ferrer's Turn To Roll Back The Years?

Ferrer’s Turn To Roll Back The Years?

Is it David Ferrer’s turn to roll back the years and enjoy a throwback season? The 35-year-old Spaniard looked as dominant as ever on Wednesday, needing only 66 minutes to prevail past 2017 finalist Joao Sousa of Portugal 6-2, 6-2 at the ASB Classic in Auckland.

Ferrer, a four-time champion (2007, 2011, 2012, 2013), lost only eight service points (33/41, 80 percent) and won almost 75 percent of his second-serve return points against Portugal’s No. 1.

Ferrer enters the 2018 season just inside the Top 40, at No. 38. He won his 27th ATP World Tour title last year in Bastad after finishing 2016 without a title. Ferrer captured five ATP World Tour crowns in 2015.

The former World No. 3 will meet fourth-seeded American John Isner or NextGen ATP Finals champion Hyeon Chung in the quarter-finals. Isner and Chung play the final match on centre court on Wednesday evening.

Top seed and defending champion Jack Sock didn’t win a set in his return to Auckland. The World No. 8 was upset by German Peter Gojowczyk 6-3, 6-3 in only 61 minutes. The big-serving Sock was broken four times and won only 33 per cent of his second-serve points (9/27). Gojowczyk picked up his second Top 10 win.

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The German reached the quarter-finals last week at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha before falling to eventual champion Gael Monfils. Sock was playing his first match of 2018. In the quarter-finals, Gojowczyk will face Dutchman Robin Haase, who beat Slovakian Lukas Lacko 7-6(4), 6-3.

Czech Jiri Vesely, the 2015 champion, won in a third-set tie-break for the second consecutive match, advancing past third seed Sam Querrey of the U.S. 6-4, 6-7(10), 7-6(5). The 24-year-old Vesely is going for his second ATP World Tour title this week and will next face 2016 Auckland champion Roberto Bautista Agut. The Spaniard improved to 5-0 in his FedEx ATP Head2Head series against American Steve Johnson with a 2-6, 6-2, 6-1 victory.

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