Auckland - David Ferrer may be heading into the twilight of his career, but the 35-year-old rolled back the years as he beat Hyeon Chung to cruise into the ATP Auckland Classic semi-finals on Thursday.
Spain's Ferrer, a four-time Auckland champion, disposed of the young Korean 6-3, 6-2 in their quarter final to set up a showdown with Juan Martin del Potro in the final four.
Del Potro beat Russian Karen Khachanov 7-6 (7/4), 6-3 in his quarter-final.
Chung had been a surprise package in the tournament, particularly with the way he outlasted fourth-seed John Isner in a three-set classic on Wednesday.
But he had no answer to the wiles of the veteran Ferrer and could only hold serve three times in the match.
Having seen the 21-year-old Chung chase down everything Isner fired across the net in the second round, Ferrer was in no mood for long rallies and his plan to look for early winners paid off as he wrapped up the match in 74 minutes.
Ferrer, who has slipped from a career high number three to 38 has a 6-4 win record over the 13th ranked del Potro who struggled to get on top of Khachanov.
There were no break points in the first set but the Argentinian managed to break the Russian's first serve in the second set and felt it was an encouraging performance ahead of facing Ferrer.
"David is great fighter, we have a great relationship and it's going to be an interesting match to watch. I hope I can play even better than tonight," del Potro said.
In a battle between the 2016 and 2015 winners, the more recent champion Roberto Bautista Agut proved too good for Jiri Vesely with a 7-6, 7-2 victory to enter the semi-finals where he will play Robin Haase of the Netherlands on Friday.
Haase won his quarter-final 6-4, 6-4 against Germany's Peter Gojowczyk who had beaten the top-seed and reigning champion Jack Sock the previous day.
Results from day four of the ATP Auckland Classic tennis tournament on Thursday (x denotes seed):
Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP x5) bt Jiri Vesely (CZE) 7-6 (7/1), 6-2
Robin Haase (NED) bt Peter Gojowczyk (GER) 6-4, 6-4
David Ferrer (ESP x7) bt Hyeon Chung (KOR) 6-3, 6-2
Juan Martin del Potro (ARG x2) bt Karen Khachanov (RUS) 7-6 (7/4), 6-3