Del Potro makes confident start in Auckland

Denis Shapovalov

- Reuters picAUCKLAND, Jan 11 ― David Ferrer may be heading into the twilight of his career but the 35-year-old rolled back the years as he beat Hyeon Chung to cruise into the ATP Auckland Classic semi-finals today.

Del Potro, the 2009 US Open champion and Auckland victor, beat Ferrer 6-4, 6-4 to continue his strong form from the end of last season, which included victory in Stockholm and losing the Basel final to Roger Federer.

The Argentine served at 46% and he defended his games efficiently, saving 6 out of 7 break points and stealing rival's games 3 times after a poor performance from Ferrer on his second serve.

Shapovalov was outclassed 6-2 6-4 by former US Open victor Juan Martin del Potro in Wednesday's Classic second round, and will now head to Melbourne.

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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.

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

But two other seeds, Spaniards Roberto Bautista Agut and David Ferrer, progressed without trouble against American Steve Johnson and Portugal's Joao Sousa respectively.

The fifth-seeded Bautista Agut, 29, earned an early first-set break before holding off a Vesely fightback to win the tiebreaker and take the set.

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Haase won his quarter-final 6-4, 6-4 against Germany's Peter Gojowczyk who had beaten the top-seed and reigning champion Jack Sock the previous day.

In what proved a sterner test than his first-up victory against equally youthful Denis Shapovalov, del Potro on Thursday dominated all of the key moments to win 7-6 (7-4) 6-3.

"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 doesn't matter about his ranking or mine, I just think it will be a good match for the fans".

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