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.”
Fourth-seeded Sam Querrey hit 19 aces in beating Belgian wild-card Olivier Rochus 7-5, 6-3 in just over an hour.
Second-seed Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany, who counts the 2008 Auckland tournament among his four career titles, had to work harder for his 7-6 (4), 4-6, 6-3 win over Colombia’s Alejandro Falla.
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.
Isner falls in Sydney
SYDNEY — Top-seeded John Isner lost 6-4, 6-4 to fellow American Ryan Harrison in the second round of the Sydney International on Wednesday.
The exit of Isner, who was promoted to the No. 1 seed after Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Richard Gasquet withdrew, followed two more injury withdrawals: No. 2 and 2011 Sydney champion Giles Simon (neck) and No. 6 Radek Stepanek (back).
Isner, who withdrew from the Hopman Cup mixed team competition in Perth last week with a right knee injury, lasted 71 minutes against No. 64-ranked Harrison.
The Australian Open starts Monday, leaving injured players little time to prepare for the season’s first major.
Hewitt reaches semifinals
MELBOURNE, Australia — Former No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt beat big-serving Canadian Milos Raonic 6-3, 1-6, 7-6 (4) at the Kooyong Classic on Wednesday, advancing to a semifinal against Tomas Berdych.
The 31-year-old Hewitt is preparing for his 17th Australian Open.
He won two years ago at Kooyong, an invitational warm-up event for the first major of the season.
Berdych had a 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 win over Croatia’s Ivan Dodig, a late replacement for injured Kei Nishikori.
Also, 2009 U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro defeated Paul-Henri Mathieu of France 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (3) to set up a semifinal against Marcos Baghdatis, who was leading Janko Tipsarevic 6-1, 1-0 when the Serbian retired with a wrist injury.
Former Hobart champ wins
HOBART, Australia — Australian wild card and former champion Jarmila Gajdosova beat Olga Govortsova of Belarus 6-3, 6-1 to advance to the Hobart International quarterfinals Wednesday.
The Slovakian-born Gajdosova served well in windy conditions against Govortsova, who had beaten fifth-seeded Carla Suarez Navarro in the first round.
Gajdosova won the Hobart International in 2011.
In other matches, Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova defeated third-seeded Klara Zakopalova of Czech Republic 3-6, 6-4, 6-2, Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium beat Bojana Jovanovski of Serbia 6-3, 6-2, and Romania’s Monica Niculescu defeated China’s Peng Shuai 3-6, 6-4, 6-4.