Defending champion David Ferrer survived a scare to reach the quarter-finals of the Auckland Open on Wednesday, as four seeded players exited early in a day of upsets.
The Spanish world number three, top seed this year at the tournament he has won four times, recovered from a sluggish start to down American qualifier Donald Young 6-7 (5/7), 6-3, 6-1.
“It was difficult, I started off very bad making a lot of mistakes,” Ferrer said.
“In the second set I tried to play more focussed, be myself and it worked. In the third one, I could play my tennis.”
German second seed Tommy Haas could not conjure a similar escape, beaten 6-4, 6-4 by big-hitting American wildcard Jack Sock.
Haas’s compatriot Daniel Brands, seeded ninth, lost 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 to another American Bradley Klahn, while California native Steve Johnson was responsible for ousting two high-profile names from the tournament.
Johnson overcame Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis 7-5, 6-7 (3/7), 6-4 in a first-round match rescheduled from Tuesday due to rain, then a few hours later beat South African fourth seed Kevin Anderson 7-5, 6-4.
French sixth seed Benoit Paire lost 6-3, 6-4 to Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain.