Welcome to the record books, David Ferrer.
The Spaniard won his third straight Heineken Open title this weekend, giving him four total for his career—putting his name alongside a tennis great (h/t ATP World Tour).
Emerson won four titles of his own in Auckland (1960, 1965, 1966 and 1967) and reportedly sent Ferrer an e-mail before the final, giving him his best wishes as he approached Emerson's record, according to USA Today.
Now boasting 19 singles titles, Ferrer defeated No. 19 Kohlschreiber 7-6 (5), 6-1, an opponent in Kohlschreiber who won this tournament in 2008.
With all of his success in Auckland, Ferrer has now dubbed the Heineken Open his favorite tournament (h/t USA Today), and it's obvious to see why.
Given the fact that he's 30 years young, you have to like Ferrer's chances of re-writing the record books by becoming the first player to ever win five titles at Auckland.
USA Today has already reported that the Spaniard plans on returning to New Zealand next year to try and win his fifth, and I like his chances.
We've seen across multiple sports that once players find a tournament they like, they usually have great success and are able to channel that winning mentality each year when the event rolls around.
Emerson was one of the best of his time, but the level of competition that Ferrer is competing against is better.
Players today are stronger, faster and are using better equipment than they were in the 1960's during Emerson's claim to fame.
When Ferrer wins his fifth Heineken Open—and I'm banking on him eclipsing the mark—he'll undoubtedly cement himself as the greatest player to ever grace the court at Auckland.
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