AUCKLAND, New Zealand -- Top-seeded David Ferrer rallied to beat Taiwan's Lu Yen-hsun 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 in a hard-fought match Wednesday to advance to the Heineken Tennis Open quarterfinals.
The fifth-ranked Ferrer is attempting to become the first player since Australian great Roy Emerson to win the tournament four times, including three years in succession.
"It was tough. It never is easy in the first round," said Ferrer, who had a bye into the second round. "My opponent played a very good game.
"The court is very fast and sometimes I need to play with power, I can't just play defense. Anyway, I won the match."
"That's probably one of the best serving matches I've ever played and everything felt pretty good," the American said. "It's my first match of the year, everything felt pretty good and I'm just looking forward to playing tomorrow."
Seventh-seeded Tommy Haas beat Igor Sijsling of the Netherlands 6-3, 6-4 in just over an hour to reach a quarterfinals matchup with Gael Monfils of France, who beat Australian qualifier Greg Jones, 6-4, 6-2 in 66 minutes.
Monfils made an impressive statement of fitness and form as he claimed his place in the final eight. The Frenchman's ranking slumped from 13th in February 2012 to 99th in January as he battled injuries and other setbacks last year.