Auckland, New Zealand (Sports Network) - David Ferrer continued his quest for a third straight Auckland championship with an easy 6-1, 6-2 victory over Gael Monfils in semifinal play Thursday at the Heineken Open.
The top-seeded Ferrer, who won this event in 2007 and in each of the last two years, needed just over 49 minutes to take down the Frenchman. Ferrer, who was named the fourth seed in the upcoming Australian Open on Friday, has been building on a successful 2012 when the Spaniard finished as the tour leader in titles (7) and match victories (76). He was a quarterfinalist or better in all four Grand Slams last season.
Ferrer's opponent on Saturday will be German Philipp Kohlschreiber, the second seed who notched a 6-4, 7-6 (7-2) victory over American Sam Querrey in the earlier match of this final Australian Open tune-up. Kohlschreiber won this event in 2008.
It will be the 10th time these two opponents have faced each other, with Ferrer winning six of the previous nine, including a quarterfinal victory in this event last year.