Del Potro floors Ferrer to reach Auckland final

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Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro kept his Australian Open preparations on track with a straight sets win over Russia's Karen Khachanov to reach the semi-finals of Auckland's ASB Tennis Classic.

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.

Chung will now meet four-time champion David Ferrer of Spain, who beat Joao Sousa of Portugal 6-2, 6-2.

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.

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.

"Bautista Agut is a unsafe player, he has experience in finals and he beat me in the past (at the 2014 Australian Open), so it's going to be hard".

The Australian Open, the first grand slam of the year, runs from January 15-28.

The other semi-final will see Roberto Bautista Agut take on Robin Haase following wins for the pair against Jiri Vesely and Peter Gojowczyk respectively.

"I tried to not make mistakes, play in the right places, try and play as hard as possible with all the pressure", Bautista Agut said of the third-set tiebreak.

"We have played many times and we always have good matches", Del Potro said of Ferrer, who is ranked 38th in the world but holds a 6-4 head-to-head record over the Argentine.

"If he has a good day, he is very unsafe as a lefty, he serves well and volleys".

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.

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