Bautista Agut gunning for Classic triumph

Denis Shapovalov

David Ferrer will face Juan Martin del Potro in the semi-finals as he chases his fifth Auckland Open title.

Del Potro, the 2009 US Open champion and Auckland victor, beat Ferrer 6-4, 6-4 to continue his strong form from the end of last season, which included victory in Stockholm and losing the Basel final to Roger Federer.

Argentina's del Potro, who beat Querrey to win the 2009 ASB Classic, needed only an hour to beat Shapovalov 6-2, 6-4.

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.

"I served really well in the second set and I tried to play aggressively".

Juan Martin del Potro began his season with a comfortable victory over Canadian Denis Shapovalov in the Round of 16 at the Auckland Classic on Wednesday.

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.

Del Potro will enter the top 10 for the first time since August 2010 on Monday ahead of his Australian Open first round clash against American teenager Frances Tiafoe.

2016 champion Bautista Agut defeated Czech Jiri Vesely 7-6 (1) 6-2 in the last eight while Hasse beat Peter Gojowczyk of Germany 6-4 6-4.

"We have played many times and we always have good matches", Del Potro said of Ferrer, who is ranked 38th in the world but holds a 6-4 head-to-head record over the Argentine.

The second-seeded del Potro will aim for his first Classic title since 2009, while the 29-year-old Bautista Agut will seek his second crown in three years.

"Today the conditions were hard and he was a hard opponent, serving very well and a lefty, playing with a very flat backhand", Bautista Agut said.



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