'I need a massage every day' - David Ferrer battling age in search of another ASB Classic crown




Deep into the twilight of a glittering tennis career, David Ferrer admits he's supplanted the hard slog of day-to-day training with "two or three hours" of physio, massage and injury-prevention measures each day.

David Ferrer from Spain during Day 4 of the 2016 ASB Classic Mens. ASB Tennis Centre, Auckland, New Zealand. Thursday 14 January 2016. Copyright Photo: Chris Symes / www.photosport.nz

David Ferrer in action during at the ASB Classic.

Source: Photosport

In what may be his final ASB Classic, the veteran Spaniard has earned a spot in Friday's semi-final after blitzing Korean young gun Hyeon Chung 6-3 6-2.

He'll face second-seeded Argentine Juan Martin del Potro.

The 35-year-old Ferrer picked himself up off the canvas after a sluggish 2017 to start the 2018 season in Auckland with a bang, but says it's not effortless.

Rather than hit ball after ball on the practice courts, the world No.38 spends the majority of his time on the physio table receiving treatment.

After a long career, he's had to change both his daily regimen and his playing style, looking for a more aggressive approach, to keep up.

"I'm tired, not a young player, and I need a massage every day and preventative work. I have more time now with the physio than practising," Ferrer said.

"Maybe two or three hours per day, stretching a lot."

Ferrer's semi-final against del Potro is set to be the highlight of today's Auckland action, with the winner to go into tomorrow's final a red-hot favourite.

In the other semi, Roberto Bautista Agut plays Robin Haase.

Ferrer said he expected a tough match from world No.12 del Potro, who breezed past prodigious duo Denis Shapovalov and Karen Khachanov.

But he has his sights set on a fifth Classic crown.

"Yesterday and today, I played very consistently, without a lot of mistakes; for two years I haven't played more than two matches like this," Ferrer said.

"I will try to play like this tomorrow. I know it's very difficult.

"I have to play very aggressive to find his backhand - he has a very good serve and amazing forehand, and (if) he takes the initiative, I won't have a chance."

The two tour veterans last played in 2016, when del Potro knocked Ferrer out of the US Open in straight sets, and previously at Wimbledon in 2013.

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