Top seed David Ferrer of Spain survived a scare to advance to the quarter-finals of the ATP Heineken Open in Auckland today but fourth-seeded compatriot Albert Montanes crashed out.
Ferrer was made to work hard to overcome German Tobias Kamke in their second-round encounter, eventually prevailing 3-6 7-6 (7/1) 6-4 against the 2010 ATP Tour newcomer of the year in two and a half hours.
The 28-year-old from Valencia will face 2008 champion Philipp Kohlschreiber in the last eight after the eighth-seeded German overcame Spaniard Marcel Granollers 6-4 3-6 6-2.
Like Ferrer, Montanes had received a first-round bye but went out of the competition at his first hurdle, unseeded Colombian Santiago Giraldo triumphing 6-3 4-6 6-4 to set up a quarter-final date with Thomaz Bellucci.
Bellucci, the seventh seed from Brazil, was also taken to three sets before getting past Spain’s Tommy Robredo 6-4 3-6 6-1 in one hour and 47 minutes.
In the late match, defending champion John Isner battled back from the brink of defeat to squeeze past Dutchman Robin Haase 3-6 7-6 (7/4) 7-5.
The third-seeded American will face David Nalbandian in the last eight after the sixth seed from Argentina cruised past Germany’s Philipp Petzschner 6-3 6-2.
At the bottom of the draw, second-seeded Spaniard Nicolas Almagro enjoyed a 6-4 7-6 (7/3) win against Romania’s Victor Hanescu and will next take on Adrian Mannarino following his 7-5 6-4 victory over fellow Frenchman Arnaud Clement.
Almagro was pleased with his display on his first outing in 2011.
The world number 14 said: “Every match is important but the first one is [more important] than others.
“I think I played very good all match. At the beginning of the match I started very aggressively with my forehand and my serve, and I think I played one of the best sets in a long time. I think if I play like [I did] today I can do big things in the year.”