Del Potro, Bautista Agut to meet in ASB Classic final

Roberto Bautista Agut

Del Potro, Bautista Agut to meet in ASB Classic final

Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut has cruised into the ASB Classic semi-finals with a 7-6 (7-1) 6-2 win over Czech Jiri Vesely in Auckland.

The Spaniard would defeat the 2009 US Open victor 6-1, 4-6, 7-5 in a touch over two hours on the hard courts of Auckland in New Zealand.

An wonderful 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.

The Spanish player swept through the first set in only 31 minutes as del Potro seemed to struggle in warm conditions on a packed center court.

The fifth-seeded Bautista Agut dominated the first set in every aspect, trumping del Potro with an unerringly accurate ground-stroke game he couldn't repel.

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Bautista Agut booked his spot in the Classic final with a 6-7 (7-9) 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-5) win over the journeyman Haase, battling from beginning to end. "We played a great match".

Del Potro beat Russian Karen Khachanov 7-6 (7/4), 6-3 in his quarter-final.

"When I had to play in the sun it was very tough for me", del Potro said. "I did too. It's never easy against David because he is such a fighter and runs a lot, I just took my chances".

"And then I think my game improved a little bit". Juan Martin netted a backhand to get broken in game number 2 but he fired up his mighty forehand to get back on the track in the following game, breaking back with a volley victor and reducing the deficit to 2-1.

"It was an unbelievable match today", said Bautista Agut, who was presented with a ceremonial "taiaha", or Maori wooden staff. Juan Martin was there to fight until the final point, creating a break point that could set up the deciding tie break, but he was denied by an ace from Roberto, one of his most important shots of the day.

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