Ferrer, del Potro to meet in ASB Classic semifinal

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Juan Martin del Potro reached his third final in his last four tournaments when he beat David Ferrer in straight sets to set up an Auckland Classic decider against Robert Bautista Agut today.

Still, he failed to make an impact with his serve and Bautista Agut broke again in game 4 to open up a 3-1 lead, controlling the points from the baseline and getting some errors from his opponent who still struggled to gain his range.

Del Potro is seeded 12th in the Australian Open with Bautista Agut 20th, but it was the Spaniard who was in command in Auckland. "He's one of the toughest guys on tour", del Potro said.

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Del Potro struck in the first game to break but was forced to repeat the feat in the seventh game after Ferrer had levelled matters at 3-3.

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.

He targeted the Argentinian's backhand with confidence and when he switched to the forehand court del Potro's return placement was off in the first set.

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

A red-hot favourite for the match, the world No.21 found valiant opposition in Haase, who recovered from a poor start to win the first set.

Juan Martin raised his game after a awful start, facing just 2 break points in the rest of the match, and he even had a chance to send the match into a deciding tie break, wasting a break point in the last game of the match that could increase his odds of winning the first Auckland title in 9 years. "I tried to have Juan Martin moving around the court". I played two fantastic games at the [end] of the match.

"And then I think my game improved a little bit".

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"David is a great fighter, we have a great relationship and it's going to be an interesting match to watch". He again saved a break point before winning the set in 50 minutes.

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