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Ferrero in Auckland final
January 11, 2008 17:34 IST
Former world number one Juan Carlos Ferrero advanced to his first Auckland Open final with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over France's [Images] Julien Benneteau on Friday.
The 2003 French Open champion, who is appearing at the Auckland tournament for the fourth time, will meet seventh seed Philipp Kohlschreiber after the German demolished Juan Monaco of Argentina 6-2, 6-1.
Ferrero, who prevailed in a titanic battle against Nicolas Massu in the quarter-finals on Thursday, was more accurate on serve and produced numerous baseline drives past the Frenchman.
Benneteau was unable to reproduce the form that propelled him past top seed and world number five David Ferrer on Thursday.
"Today I went to the court to play my game, to be aggressive," Ferrero told reporters.
"I think today I was more aggressive than yesterday with my forehand. Yesterday was a bit windy so today was a bit easier."
While Ferrero looked totally in control, he needed four match points to seal victory.
"I was a little bit nervous at the end... at the end it is always very difficult"
Kohlschreiber produced a near faultless display against the third-seeded Monaco blasting cross court passes and drives down the tramlines at will against the Argentine.
He also broke the Argentine six times in the match and admitted he had noticed the world number 23 was struggling all week with his serve.
"I saw that in his previous matches he lost his serve a few times so I played a lot of balls back and tried to be very aggressive and to keep the pressure on and so maybe he would make one or two easy mistakes," he said.
The German admitted that everything he had attempted during the match had succeeded.
"I felt very loose out in the locker room and it continued out on court."
Monaco said the German had blown him off the court.
"He played unbelievable. On important points he played very deep and on the lines, and I didn't play my best tennis I think."