Top seeds tumble out at ASB Classic

Marco Green
January 14, 2018

Juan Martin del Potro overcame a stubborn challenge from David Ferrer to clinch their semi-final 6-4 6-4 and advance to a title showdown against Roberto Bautista Agut in the ASB Classic men's tennis tournament in Auckland.

But that was as much to do with his opponent than any poor play from Del Potro. "I had to take a risk playing against David because he's a fighter and he runs a lot and that's the way to be beat him".

Ferrer had his chances in the second set but he wasted 5 break points in games 4 and 8, unable to grab the lead and send the match into a decider.

Whoever emerges should, in theory, kick on to claim the title, with either Dutch veteran Robin Haase or Spanish fifth seed Roberto Bautista Agut to contest the final. "He's one of the toughest guys on tour", del Potro said. "I could've come out and played wonderful, or could've come out and played like today", Sock told reporters. "I'm enjoying getting onto the court and showing my tennis to the fans and I think they know the effort [I've made] to come back". That in itself suggests this match between two former champions here should live up to its billing.

"When I saw the ball in, I went insane", Bautista Agut said.

But that was nothing compared to what Bautista Agut went through as the 2016 champion was pushed to the limit in a thrilling three-hour clash.

Having seen the 21-year-old Chung chase down everything Isner fired across the net in the second round, Ferrer was in no mood for long rallies and his plan to look for early winners paid off as he wrapped up the match in 74 minutes. "I'm so happy that I won".

"I tried to focus during my service game and just do what I have to do".

Earlier, fifth seed Bautista Agut outlasted Dutchman Robin Haase in an epic clash that took nearly three hours before the Spaniard produced an audacious backhand lob that kissed the baseline to clinch the 6-7 (7) 7-6 (3) 7-6 (5) win. "It was an unbelievable battle on the court".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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