Juan Martin del Potro powers his way through to ASB Classic semi-final




Argentinian tennis star Juan Martin del Potro has set up a blockbuster ASB Classic semi-final against Spanish veteran David Ferrer, winning tonight's quarter-final 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 against prodigious Russian Karen Khachanov.

In what proved a sterner test than his first-up victory against the equally youthful Denis Shapovalov, del Potro dominated all of the key moments.

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.

Taking a 3-0 lead, he served his way to victory, banging 11 aces and nailing 73 per cent of his first serves against a valiant Khachanov.

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

Rejuvenated after a tough 2017 campaign, the 35-year-old Ferrer on Thursday afternoon dismantled Korean young gun Hyeon Chung 6-3 6-2.

On the other side of the draw, Ferrer's compatriot Roberto Bautista Agut appears a safe bet for the final, drawn for a semi against Robin Haase.

Bautista Agut cruised into Friday's semi-finals with a 7-6 (7-1) 6-2 win over Czech Jiri Vesely, while Haase trumped giant-killing German Peter Gojowczyk.

"Today the conditions were difficult and he was a difficult 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.

"I served really well in the second set and I tried to play aggressively."

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