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Ferrer beats Haase at ASB Classic in New Zealand

(AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

AUCKLAND, New Zealand (AP) Four-time champion David Ferrer opened play Tuesday in ASB Classic with a 6-2, 6-1 first-round win over Robin Haase.

The 36-year-old Ferrer said before Tuesday's match that this is his last season on the ATP Tour and he will not be returning as a competitor to a tournament that he won in 2007 and in three straight years from 2011 to 2013.

"I'm really happy because winning today means I will have a chance to play one more match again on this court," Ferrer said. "It's very emotional for me to be here."

Ferrer had good reason to enjoy himself Tuesday. Ferrer broke Haase's serve in the third, fifth and seventh games of the first set and didn't drop a point on his own serve until the sixth game when Haase broke back.

In the eighth game, Ferrer took set point with an ace, gave it up with his only double fault of the match and served out the set in just half an hour.

He was quickly on top again in the second set, breaking Haase in the third game, again the fifth and clinching the set and match against serve in the seventh.

In other matches Tuesday, sixth seeded Hyung Cheong fell 7-5, 6-3 to New Zealand wild-card Rubin Statham, and Argentina's Leonard Mayer beat American Steven Johnson by the same score. Peter Gojowczyk of Germany beat Guido Pella of Argentina 6-1, 3-6, 6-2.

More AP Tennis: https://www.apnews.com/apf-Tennis and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Updated January 8, 2019

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