Del Potro powers into NZ tennis semis

Juan Martin del Potro eases past Denis Shapovalov in Auckland Classic

Del Potro and Ferrer's rallies were generally shorter as they slugged it out from the baseline.

He broke late against a scampering Ferrer to earn a 6-4 first-set win before seizing another crucial break at 4-4 in the second set and serving out the match.

While del Potro was trumped by the Spaniard in 2014, he has since beaten him three times, including at the 2016 Olympics and 2017 US Open.

Roberto Bautista Agut let out a guttural roar immediately after lobbing his way to an ASB Classic semi-final win over Robin Haase.

"I tried to play consistent and aggressive because, with Chung, he plays with power, and it's never easy", Ferrer said afterwards on court.

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

Isner's powerful serve wasn't enough to save him in his match with Chung, the victor of last year's ATP Next Generation finals.

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With all three sets going to tiebreak, the unerringly accurate Bautista Agut admitted he was feeling more than a touch tired on Friday.

In preparation for the Australian Open, starting January 15, Del Potro proved just too strong for the Canadian and won 6-2, 6-4.

"But I've been working hard to play this tennis and hopefully I can still improve in the next matches".

"We've played many matches on tour - his forehand is pretty good, serves are good and returns so well, so I must be smart", the world No.12 del Potro said.

But he'd look to recover quickly for a tilt at the final.

With top seed Jack Sock eliminated earlier in the day by unheralded German Peter Gojowczyk, del Potro is a red-hot favourite to lift his first Classic title since 2009.

In the doubles, Belarusian Max Mirnyi and Austrian Philipp Oswald will take on Austrian Oliver Marach and Croatian Mate Pavic.

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