Auckland - Top-seed David Ferrer retained his Auckland ATP title on Saturday with a comfortable victory over Olivier Rochus 6-3, 6-4 in a rain-disrupted final.
The Spaniard fell to the ground in celebration as he closed out the match in an hour and 34 minutes to claim the Auckland title for a third time, having previously won in 2011 and 2007.
"This is the most special as every year is more difficult because I am older," the 29-year-old said.
Winning his 12th ATP title has given the Spaniard confidence going to Melbourne for the Australian Open where he has drawn Rui Machado of Portugal in the first round but he put his celebration on hold.
"I have no time to celebrate. I will have dinner and drink only one (beer) tonight."
World number five Ferrer had too much class for Rochus, winning 83 per cent of his first serve points and breaking the diminutive Belgian three times in the stop-start encounter.
The match had just started with Ferrer 1-0 up when the players had to leave the court for the first time because of the wet weather.
When play resumed Ferrer raced to a 5-3 lead but Rochus had a break point with a chance to strike back when rain interrupted play a second time.
Back on court when the rain cleared, Ferrer saved the game and took the first set. He then made a decisive break mid-way through the second set to wrap up the match in an hour and 34 minutes.
Ferrer is now 6-2 against the 68th-ranked Rochus and has won 12 of 14 finals he has played.