Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Bautista Agut into Auckland tennis semis

Bautista Agut into Auckland tennis semis

But it was Del Potro who was the more clinical in taking his chances, coming through to claim a 6-4 6-4 triumph that sets up a showpiece with another Spaniard, Roberto Bautista Agut.

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.

Del Potro is seeded 12th in the Australian Open with Bautista Agut 20th, but it was the Spaniard who was in command in Auckland.

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 second set went on serve with neither able to get a break point opportunity until the 10th game, which Del Potro seized upon to send the match into a decider when Bautista Agut hit a backhand into the net after a cagey baseline rally.

Bautista Agut broke Haase in the seventh game of the second set but Haase immediately broke back and the set again went to a tiebreak.

"I passed really bad moments on the court and in that moment, I scream because I was very stressed", the world No.21 Bautista Agut said.

Yet the Argentinian second seed recovered to take out the second set and repeatedly come close in the third, only to be broken late and lose 7-5. "I didn't expect to reach a final in my first tournament", said del Potro, the 2009 US Open champion.

"I started the match very well".

"It's never easy against David because he runs a lot and he's a fighter", del Potro said. "I couldn't play any better, but Roberto did well at the end of the match, and I made some mistakes".

"And then I think my game improved a little bit". "It was an unbelievable match today". He again saved a break point before winning the set in 50 minutes.

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