Juan Del Potro sets up Auckland Classic semi-final with David Ferrer

Juan Del Potro sets up Auckland Classic semi-final with David Ferrer

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.

But both times Del Potro was able to rely on his running forehand to save himself and at 4-4 he broke the Spaniard before successfully serving for the match.

The two tour veterans last played in 2016, when del Potro knocked Ferrer out of the US Open in straight sets, and previously at Wimbledon in 2013.

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

On the other side of the draw, Ferrer's compatriot Roberto Bautista Agut appears a safe bet for the final, drawn for a semi-final against Robin Haase.

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

"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".

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

Apart from Sock's departure, one of the main surprises Wednesday was the ease in which second-seeded Juan Martin del Potro dismissed Canadian teenage star Denis Shapovalov.

Del Potro will enter the top 10 for the first time since August 2010 on Monday ahead of his Australian Open first round clash against American teenager Frances Tiafoe.

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

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.

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

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