David Ferrer, Juan Martin del Potro advance to ASB Classic semifinals

Tennis


AUCKLAND, New Zealand — Four-time champion David Ferrer of Spain reached the semifinals of the ATP Tour’s ASB Classic for the eighth time when he beat South Korea’s Hyeon Chung 6-3, 6-2 in Thursday’s quarterfinals.

Ferrer’s semifinal opponent will be another former champion, second-seeded Juan Martin del Potro, who beat Russia’s Karen Khachanov 7-6 (4), 6-3.

Del Potro looked in top form ahead of the Australian Open with his second straight-sets victory, having beaten Canadian teenage star Denis Shapovalov 6-2, 6-4 in the second round. In two matches in Auckland, 2009 champion del Potro has yet to concede a break point.

“Of course I’m happy to get through. He’s one of the toughest guys on tour,” del Potro said. “Today’s match was so close. He hits the ball so hard and we play long rallies, big points and I think I took all my chances to win.”

Another former champion, fifth-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut, will face Robin Haase of the Netherlands in the other semifinal. Bautista Agut defeated Jiri Vesely 7-6 (1), 6-1 on Thursday while Haase beat Germany’s Peter Gojowczyk 6-4, 6-4.



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