Auckland: Top seed David Ferrer survived a scare before battling his way into quarter-finals of the Auckland Open with a 3-6, 7-6, 6-4 victory over Germany’s Tobias Kamke on Wednesday.
The world number seven was blown away in the first set in just 35 minutes by the 24-year-old, who won the ATP Tour’s Newcomer of the Year award last year when he improved from 254th in the world to number 67.
Kamke fought hard in the second set, running the Spaniard ragged across the baseline but Ferrer managed to force a tiebreak, which he ran away with 7-1.
He then broke Kamke in the ninth game of the third set, and despite being 0-30 down while serving for the match, fought back to seal it with an ace.
The 2007 champion will meet the 2008 winner Philipp Kohlschreiber in the quarter-finals after the German was also forced to three sets by Marcel Gronollers 6-4, 3-6, 6-2.
Second seed Nicolas Almagro beat towering Romanian Victor Hanescu 6-4 7-6, while seventh seed Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil beat former world top 10 player Tommy Robredo 6-4, 3-6, 6-1.
He next plays Colombia’s Santiago Giraldo, who toppled second seed Albert Montanes of Spain 6-3, 4-6, 6-4.
Sixth seed David Nalbandian, who was forced into a first-round battle with Fabio Fognini, had a much easier match in the second round, easily accounting for Philipp Petzschner 6-3, 6-2 in a little over an hour.
Champion John Isner is playing in the night match against Robin Haase of the Netherlands.