Del Potro, Bautista Agut to meet in ASB Classic final

AUCKLAND, New Zealand (AP) Former champions Juan Martin del Potro and Roberto Bautista Agut will meet Saturday in the final of the ATP Tour’s ASB Classic.

Second-seeded del Potro, champion in 2009, beat four-time champion and eight-time semifinalist David Ferrer 6-4, 6-4 in just under two hours Friday while Bautista Agut, the 2016 champion, defeated Robin Haase 6-7 (7), 7-6 (3), 7-6 (5) in a three-hour marathon.

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.

”It’s never easy against David because he runs a lot and he’s a fighter,” del Potro said. ”You never know what will happen but I took my chances and got through.”

Bautista Agut broke Haase in the seventh game of the second set but Haase immediately broke back and the set again went to a tiebreak. Haase slipped up early and couldn’t recover.

The third set proceeded more swiftly with a series of rapid service games until Haase dropped serve in the fourth game.

Bautista Agut gained the early advantage and although Haase again fought back, the fifth-seeded Bautista Agut converted his fourth match point with a lob that just nipped the baseline.

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