Top-seed David Ferrer beat Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 6-4 in the semi-finals of the Auckland ATP tournament Friday to cap a gruelling day on court and book a final showdown with Olivier Rochus.
The unseeded Rochus, a finalist here seven years ago, came from behind to upset Germany's Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-7 (4-7), 6-1, 6-4 in the other semi-final.
It was a long day of tennis in blustery conditions for Ferrer and Verdasco who were forced to play two matches after their quarter-finals against Alejandro Falla and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez were washed out on Thursday night.
World number five Ferrer began the day with a marathon match against Falla, prevailing 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 in just over two hours while Verdasco was on court for just as long beating doubles partner Garcia-Lopez 7-5, 6-4.
Four hours later, Ferrer and Verdasco were back for their all-Spanish semi-final where Ferrer made light of the quick turnaround as he raced through the match in 90 minutes and without dropping his serve.
Rochus knocked out the tournament eighth seed Kohlschreiber after losing the first set in a tie-break and then stepping up a gear to race through the second set 6-1.
The deciding third set reached 4-4 before Kohlschreiber dropped his serve allowing the Belgian to serve for the match.
"It is fantastic to be in the final," the world 68th-ranked Rochus said.
"I am almost 31, so I've had a long time on the tour, but I'm still playing to have moments like this today."
AFPTags: sport, tennis, new-zealand First posted January 13, 2012 19:46:14