David Ferrer's long reign as Auckland tennis champion is over after the Spaniard lost in straight sets to Taiwan's Yen-Hsun Lu, who had never made a final until Friday.
Ferrer was bidding for a record fourth straight Heineken Open title, and also a record fifth overall - one more than Australian great Roy Emerson.
But Lu never wavered and in major upset played what he called a perfect game, bundling Ferrer out 6-4 7-6(4), the world's No 3 player. Before Auckland, he had made 10 quarterfinals, but never won one.
"It's better than good - I played perfect, and game by game if I can make two games I'm happy, three games good, four games I'm satisfied. I can sleep good tonight," Lu said after the match.
On Saturday, he faces 2010 champion John Isner, after he earlier beat another Spaniard, Roberto Bautista Agut, in three sets 3-6 7-6(2) 6-4.
The American was down a set and his opponent was serving for the match when Isner broke to force a tiebreak, which he easily won, and said that was the turning point of the match.