Juan Martin del Potro too strong for Denis Shapovalov at Auckland Classic

Juan Martin del Potro too strong for Denis Shapovalov at Auckland Classic

Juan Martin del Potro reached his third final in his last four tournaments when he beat David Ferrer in straight sets to set up an Auckland Classic decider against Robert Bautista Agut today.

Former US Open champion Del Potro hit eight aces to breeze past the 18-year-old Canadian, who hit 20 winners but committed 40 unforced errors.

He broke late against a scampering Ferrer to earn a 6-4 first-set win before seizing another crucial break at 4-4 in the second set and serving out the match.

And there could be more where that came from if the fifth-seeded Spaniard upsets Classic men's singles favourite Juan Martin del Potro in Saturday's final.

Del Potro, who sealed the Auckland title in 2009, shone in the key moments and fought off six of the seven break points Ferrer forged in a tense clash, with two games in the second set lasting nearly 10 minutes apiece.

On the other side of the draw, Ferrer's compatriot Roberto Bautista Agut appears a safe bet for the final, drawn for a semi-final against Robin Haase. "It doesn't matter about his ranking or mine, I just think it will be a good match for the fans".

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Khachanov beat sixth seed Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay 6-2, 7-6 (4) to advance to the quarter-finals.

"But I've been working hard to play this tennis and hopefully I can still improve in the next matches".

"It was a great year for me (in 2009), winning the first title of the year here in Auckland, so I'd like to repeat it for sure", the 29-year-old del Potro said.

"If he has a good day, he is very risky as a lefty, he serves well and volleys".

Top-seeded and defending champion Jack Sock bowed out of the ATP Tour's ASB Classic in its second round Wednesday, beaten 6-3, 6-3 by unseeded German Peter Gojowczyk on a bad day for American players.

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