Del Potro, Bautista Agut to meet in ASB Classic final

Yolanda Curtis
January 13, 2018

Juan Martin del Potro overcame a stubborn challenge from David Ferrer to clinch their semi-final 6-4 6-4 and advance to a title showdown against Roberto Bautista Agut in the Auckland Classic yesterday.

"I'm exhausted", Del Potro said in a court-side interview.

"I played well and I'm looking forward to doing well in Melbourne".

An awesome forehand down the line victor moved Bautista Agut a point away from the crown and he sealed the deal when del Potro sent a forehand long, celebrating his second title in Auckland and the 7th in a career.

"Today I improved my level - I played much better tennis on this day, was very concentrated and played a good match", the 29-year-old Bautista Agut said.

"I served really well in the second set and I tried to play aggressively with my forehand, and I think I did it".

The ex-US Open victor and 2009 Classic champion was broken in each of his three first-set service games and didn't rebound until late in the second. He dropped serve in the next game, immediately broke back but lost his serve again in the fourth game to give Bautista a 3-1 lead.

In a quality third set, play progressed without any breaks of serve until 5-5 when del Potro slipped behind with his first double fault of the match and then lost two points on his backhand. He struggled throughout the match to profit from his first serve but looked risky when able to hit his famous forehand while moving into the court.

The Argentine had to change something on the court and in a rather quick manner if he wanted to get back in contention, and he started to serve better in set number 2, cutting the number of errors and enduring the baseline encounters with his strong opponent. He again saved a break point before winning the set in 50 minutes.

But both times Del Potro was able to rely on his running forehand to save himself and at 4-4 he broke the Spaniard before successfully serving for the match.

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