Agut beats Del Potro to win Auckland Classic

Roberto Bautista Agut

Roberto Bautista Agut

On Saturday the Spaniard beat former US Open victor Juan Martin del Potro 6-1, 4-6, 7-5 in the final of the ASB Classic in Auckland for his second career title in New Zealand.

The second-seeded del Potro - a red-hot favourite for Saturday's Auckland final - fell 6-1 4-6 7-5 to his Spanish opponent, failing to fire early.

Both players are seeded in the Australian Open with del Potro 12th and Bautista Agut 20th but it was the Spaniard who was in command in Auckland.

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However, Bautista Agut romped through the first set in 31 minutes as he broke the Argentine three times and produced numerous forehand winners. At 15/40, 5-5, Del Potro erased a break point with an ace but Bautista Agut saw a second serve on the next point, and took advantage before serving out the match.

Bautista Agut booked his spot in the Classic final with a 6-7 (7-9) 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-5) win over the journeyman Haase, battling from beginning to end. "I don't have anything to lose at this time of my career - I'm going to be top 10 again after big problems with my wrists", del Potro said.

"Today was a very tough match, I don't know how my body will be tomorrow, but now I want to enjoy the win and we'll see", Bautista Agut said. The players were struggling on the return while the Spaniard, who triumphed in Auckland back in 2016, was looking to snap his three-match losing streak against the Argentinian.

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"I played very aggressive, tried to increase the speed of the ball and to have Juan Martin moving around the court, and not repeating a lot. But then my game improved a little bit and I made mistakes in the last game", del Potro said. "Roberto is a great champion so congratulations to him". Del Potro finally earned comfortable service holds while Bautista Agut remained firm on the baseline and did not seem to let loose anytime soon.

The former world No 1 was too strong for Barty, winning the final 6-4, 6-4 to give her a massive confidence boost for the year's opening Grand Slam in Melbourne.

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