Del Potro makes confident start in Auckland

  • Del Potro makes confident start in Auckland

Del Potro makes confident start in Auckland

The 29-year-old del Potro, an ex-US Open champion and the 2009 Classic victor, will face another ex-champion in Ferrer.

Ferrer disposed of the young Korean 6-3, 6-2 in their quarter final to set up a showdown with Juan Martin del Potro in the final four.

There were no break points in the first set but the Argentinian managed to break the Russian's first serve in the second set and felt it was an encouraging performance ahead of facing Ferrer.

Ferrer is yet to drop a set in Auckland and has shown glimpses of his old form that saw him win the tournament in 2007, 2011, 2012 and 2013. "He has a really great future".

But two other seeds, Spaniards Roberto Bautista Agut and David Ferrer, progressed without trouble against American Steve Johnson and Portugal's Joao Sousa respectively. "I did too. It's never easy against David because he is such a fighter and runs a lot, I just took my chances".

He then blitzed the second set, unleashing his trademark ground-stroke game with relentlessly accurate shots.

He made unforced error after unforced error against Gojowczyk, who served the house down with nine aces and won 88 per cent of first-serve points.

Bautista Agut faces Dutchman Robin Haase next in the semi-finals after he defeated Peter Gojowczyk of Germany 6-4, 6-4.

Canadian tennis prodigy Denis Shapovalov has set a maiden ATP title - but not necessarily the upcoming Australian Open - as his chief goal for 2018 after falling out of Auckland's ASB Classic.

"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.

"It was tough at the beginning, to have rhythm with the ball".

"Bautista Agut is a risky 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".