Earlier, fifth seed Bautista Agut outlasted Dutchman Robin Haase in an epic clash that took nearly three hours before the Spaniard produced an audacious backhand lob that kissed the baseline to clinch the 6-7 (7) 7-6 (3) 7-6 (5) win.
In what is expected to be his last Auckland dig, though, he has everything to play for.
The 35-year-old Ferrer, in his 13th appearance at the tournament, did not rule out a return in 2019. When I beat Juan Martin del Potro I was top 10 now the top 10 is him and not me. "If I play well maybe I have a little chance".
"It was a good week and I take confidence from it for next week, for sure", Ferrer said.
The 29-year-old del Potro, an ex-US Open champion and the 2009 Classic victor, will face another ex-champion in Ferrer.
"Bautista Agut is a risky player, he has experience in finals and he beat me in the past (at the 2014 Australian Open), so it's going to be hard".
Ranked 65th in the world, Gojowczyk sent the American Sock packing in his first match on Wednesday, winning 6-3 6-3 and dominating from first to last.
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"Obviously I came in hoping to play as many matches as possible here, I thought Peter played some incredible tennis today".
"I tried to play consistent and aggressive because, with Chung, he plays with power, and it's never easy", Ferrer said afterwards on court.
"But I've been working hard to play this tennis and hopefully I can still improve in the next matches". The Argentine doesn't get too worked up but there is a sense he, too, is building some classy form.
"I'm exhausted", Del Potro said in a court-side interview.
"He's a great champion of this sport and everybody enjoys watching his games so it doesn't matter, my ranking or his ranking, it'll be interesting to watch".
Roberto Bautista Agut unleashes a forehand during the semifinal against Robin Haase.
"It's a good challenge for me to see how my body is before an important event like the Australian Open but I am very focused to reach the final here in Auckland".