Del Potro on course for Auckland title

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Argentinian tennis star Juan Martin del Potro says Saturday's ASB Classic final against Roberto Bautista Agut will be his toughest Auckland test after dismissing Spanish veteran David Ferrer 6-4 6-4 in Friday's semi-final.

Former US Open champion Del Potro hit eight aces to breeze past the 18-year-old Canadian, who hit 20 winners but committed 40 unforced errors.

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.

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.

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

Spain's Ferrer, a four-time Auckland champion, disposed of the young Korean 6-3, 6-2 in their quarter final to set up a showdown with Juan Martin del Potro in the final four.

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

"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".

Khachanov beat sixth seed Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay 6-2, 7-6 (4) to advance to the quarter-finals.

"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.

"Today the conditions were hard and he was a hard opponent, serving very well and a lefty, playing with a very flat backhand", Bautista Agut said.

With top seed Jack Sock eliminated earlier in the day by unheralded German Peter Gojowczyk, del Potro is a red-hot favourite to lift his first Classic title since 2009.

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