Del Potro powers into NZ tennis semis

Denis Shapovalov

Del Potro also finished past year strongly and the second seed saw off Denis Shapovalov 6-2 6-4 five days before the Australian Open begins, setting up a meeting with Karen Khachanov - who beat sixth seed Pablo Cuevas 6-2 7-6 (7-4).

The Argentine's massive forehand, however, was the major defining factor in the match as he worked himself into a position to drive victor after winner past the Spaniard and clinched the semi-final in one hour, 46 minutes.

Former champions Juan Martin del Potro and Roberto Bautista Agut will meet Saturday in the final of the ATP Tour's ASB Classic.

The 18-year-old Canadian is now 0-2 to start the year after dropping his opening match of 2018 on January 2 at the Brisbane International to Britain's Kyle Edmund in three sets.

"It's tough every week but I think it's possible to do it".

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.

Del Potro's form in Auckland this week has been outstanding and he has shown no signs of a wrist injury which has dogged his career.

He won the Auckland tournament in 2009 before going on to win his maiden grand slam title at Flushing Meadows later the same year.

"I'm just so pleased to be able to make another final".

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.

"Unfortunately the match can't have two winners", an exhausted Bautista Agut said after the two hour, 52 minute clash.

"At the end everything was close, everybody knows we left everything on the court and anything could have happened".

"Unfortunately the match can not have two winners and I'm so happy I won", said the relieved Spaniard, who sank to his knees at the end.

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

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