Vintage Ferrer stays on course in Auckland

Auckland Final

Argentine tennis star Juan Martin del Potro has set up a blockbuster Auckland Classic semi-final against Spanish veteran David Ferrer, beating prodigious Russian Karen Khachanov in straight sets.

But that was as much to do with his opponent than any poor play from Del Potro.

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 knew he would fight until the end".

"It was a good week and I take confidence from it for next week, for sure", Ferrer said.

As a result, the Auckland field is cleared for the 29-year-old del Potro, who becomes a red-hot favourite to lift his first Classic title since 2009.

The 18-year-old Shapovalov, considered one of the finest young talents in world tennis, admitted he was still a level off the likes of del Potro.

"I didn't expect to have this career after my wrist problems, everything is surprising for me".


"It's tough every week but I think it's possible to do it".

"Bautista Agut is a unsafe 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".

He brushed off suggestions of indifference post-match.

But that was nothing compared to what Bautista Agut went through as the 2016 champion was pushed to the limit in a thrilling three-hour clash.

After what was his first ATP match of the year, Sock appeared unconcerned, saying a hip injury had hindered his preparation for Auckland.

Mertens will play Mihaela Buzarnescu of Romania, who has reached her maiden WTA final. "It was an unbelievable battle on the court".

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. "I passed very bad moments on the court and that moment I screamed because I was very stressed".

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