David Ferrer continued his quest for a third straight Auckland championship with a 6-2, 6-1 rout of Slovakia's Lukas Lacko in quarterfinal play Thursday at the Heineken Open.
The top-seeded Ferrer, who won this event in 2007 and in each of the last two years, 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.
Next up for Ferrer will be Frenchman Gael Monfils, who took down No. 3 seed Tommy Haas of Germany by a 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 margin.
The other semifinal in this final Australian Open tune-up will pit No. 2 seed Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany against fourth seed and 2009 finalist Sam Querrey. Kohlschreiber, the 2008 Auckland champion, downed Belgium's Xavier Malisse, 7-6 (8-6), 6-4, while the American Querrey doused Canadian qualifier Jesse Levine, 6-4, 7-6 (7-5).