Wednesday, 17 January, 2018

Del Potro, Bautista Agut to meet in ASB Classic final

Heat a factor in del Potro's NZ final loss Bautista Agut, Kerber champions
Rita Gibson | 13 January, 2018, 11:34

Juan Martin del Potro overcame a stubborn challenge from David Ferrer to clinch their semi-final 6-4 6-4 and advance to a title showdown against Roberto Bautista Agut in the Auckland Classic yesterday.

The Spaniard would defeat the 2009 US Open victor 6-1, 4-6, 7-5 in a touch over two hours on the hard courts of Auckland in New Zealand.

Both players will now turn their attention to next week's Australian Open in Melbourne, where Bautista Agut will play compatriot Fernando Verdasco in the first round.

He targeted the Argentinian's backhand with confidence and when he switched to the forehand court del Potro's return placement was off in the first set.

The fifth-seeded Bautista Agut dominated the first set in every aspect, trumping del Potro with an unerringly accurate ground-stroke game he couldn't repel.

Tanker shipping is the big victim from OPEC's oil cuts
However, the Iraqi oil minister said Tuesday that oil exports should begin to flow from the country by the end of January. US oil prices rallied amid the news Tuesday, rising $1.44 to $63.17 a barrel to USA crude's highest price since 2014.

"I passed really bad moments on the court and in that moment, I scream because I was very stressed", the world No.21 Bautista Agut said.

"It's awesome to me just to be playing tennis against after all my wrist problems".

But the lanky Argentine lived up to his never-say-die attitude and rallied back in the second set, taking advantage of the only break point in the set to force a decider. I think the crowd enjoyed the game.

Del Potro had advanced to the final behind his booming forehand that nullified the superb defensive game of David Ferrer.

"I like to play here, I feel good being here in Auckland". "It was an unbelievable match today". Juan Martin netted a backhand to get broken in game number 2 but he fired up his mighty forehand to get back on the track in the following game, breaking back with a volley victor and reducing the deficit to 2-1. "But then my game improved a little bit and I made mistakes in the last game", del Potro said. He again saved a break point before winning the set in 50 minutes.

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