Philipp Kohlschreiber is back in a place which holds great memories, and he could soon have another reason to reminisce.

Kohlschreiber dispatched second seed Fabio Fognini in the ASB Classic men's tennis quarter-finals yesterday, thrashing the world No13 6-3, 6-1, in just 65 minutes on centre court.

Fognini put in an apathetic effort, with lacklustre movement and a shocking serving display, as Kohlschreiber made the semifinals for the fifth time in Auckland.

Champion in Auckland in 2008, and a finalist in 2013, Kohlschreiber hadn't visited the tournament since 2016, but has now added another deep run to his resume.


With unseeded American Tennys Sandgren waiting in the semifinals, and a slew of big seeds already on their way to the Australian Open, Kohlschreiber now has a gilt-edged chance to win his first ATP Tour title since 2017, and first in 11 years in Auckland.

It's a remarkable effort for the 35-year-old, who reflected on his longevity in a radically altered tennis landscape.

"Tennis has changed over the 11 years. There are many big hitters now, everyone is serving huge. When I played 11 years ago they were different opponents, you needed to play longer rallies. Now the points are very short.

"I think the game I play is maybe sometimes not easy to handle for the young ones — a lot of variety, and I'm a good mover still."

His 28th victory in Auckland was surprisingly easy. Kohlschreiber was hardly troubled; breaking early in both sets as Fognini's stand-and-deliver approach resulted in more errors than winners. The Italian hit seven doubles faults to no aces, and was successful on just 52 per cent of his first serves as he crashed out.

"I don't know what happened to Fabio. He dropped a little bit, maybe he was injured, I'm not quite sure. The match turned out to have less intensity, he tried to overplay maybe some points," analysed Kohlschreiber.

The world No34 also continued his Auckland tradition of catching a movie during the tournament, watching Aquaman. The movie ritual is part of a routine that has proved successful over many years at the tournament.

"It's a great tournament for me, great memories. The first time I qualified for a Tour event was here when I was 18. I had a quarter-final against Dominik Hrbaty who was two-time champion here, so that was my first great experience on the Tour. It's always great to come back and it's a place where I feel very comfortable."


That familiarity and experience could come in handy as Kohlschreiber looks to add another memorable moment to a career full of them.