Del Potro too strong for Shapovalov in Auckland

Denis Shapovalov of Canada lost to Juan Martin del Potro at the ASB Classic

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.

Spain's Ferrer, a four-time Auckland champion, 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.

He cruised through a first-set tiebreaker after both players could not break serve, before seizing the initiative at the start of the second set.

Former US Open champion Del Potro is the second seed in the tournament that he won during his last appearance here in 2009.

"I tried to play consistent and aggressive because with Chung, he plays with power, and it's never easy", Ferrer said in a court-side interview.

Bautista Agut, the world No.21, will go on to face Robin Haase in Friday's semi-finals after the Dutchman's defeat of giant-killing German Peter Gojowczyk 6-4 6-4.

"It was a great finish and when I saw that last ball in I went insane", Bautista Agut said.

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But with all three sets going to a tiebreak, Bautista Agut's relentless accuracy and fitness came to the fore, helping him win in just under three hours.

"Unfortunately the match can not have two winners and I'm so happy I won", said the relieved Spaniard, who sank to his knees at the end.

"I like to play here, I feel good being here in Auckland".

The second-seeded del Potro will aim for his first Classic title since 2009, while the 29-year-old Bautista Agut will seek his second crown in three years.

Del Potro will enter the top 10 for the first time since August 2010 on Monday ahead of his Australian Open first round clash against American teenager Frances Tiafoe.

"I'll be OK for tomorrow, I have enough time to recover now - in the final, no pain matters, so I'll have to be focused on the game".

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