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ASB Classic: David Ferrer through in Auckland to keep fifth title bid alive

David Ferrer kept alive his bid for a record fifth ASB Classic title in Auckland as he defeated Robin Haase of the Netherlands in the first round.

The Spaniard was on court for just over an hour, hitting 16 winners and breaking his opponent six times on the way to a 6-2, 6-1 victory.

Ferrer, 36, holds the joint record for most titles at Auckland alongside Roy Emerson with wins in 2007, 2011, 2012 and 2013, but this will be his last visit before he retires in May.

He will play fellow Spanish player and No. 4 seed Pablo Carreno Busta in the second round Wednesday evening.

Elsewhere home favourite and wildcard Rubin Statham enjoyed a shock 7-5, 6-3 victory over No. 6 seed Hyeon Chung.

Argentina's Leonardo Mayer proved too strong for American ninth seed Steve Johnson, winning 7-5, 6-3 to book his place in Round 2.

Germany's Peter Gojowczyk needed three sets to get past Mayer's compatriot Guido Pella but eventually came through 6-1, 3-6, 6-2 to set up a second round tie with Fabio Fognini.

And French qualifier Ugo Humbert defeated lucky loser Pablo Cuevas 7-5, 6-1.