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Bautista Agut beats Del Potro to win Auckland title

  • Published at 07:57 am January 14th, 2018
Bautista Agut beats Del Potro to win Auckland title
Roberto Bautista Agut continued to shine in New Zealand when the Spaniard won his second Auckland Classic title with a 6-1 4-6 7-5 victory over second seed Juan Martin del Potro Saturday. Del Potro had advanced to the final behind his booming forehand that nullified the superb defensive game of David Ferrer. The fifth seeded Bautista Agut, who clinched the title in 2016 but was unable to defend it last year due to illness, however, never let the tall Argentine settle or get into a rhythm Saturday. He romped through the first set in 31 minutes as he broke Del Potro three times and produced numerous forehand winner. The second set went on serve with neither able to get a break point opportunity until the 10th game, which Del Potro seized upon to send the match into a decider when Bautista Agut hit a backhand into the net after a cagey baseline rally. Neither player offered up many opportunities in the third set until the 11th game, when the Spaniard converted on the second of his break points to take a 6-5 lead and then held serve to triumph in a little more than two hours. 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. Del Potro, who will move back into the top 10 for the first time since 2014 after a succession of surgeries on both wrists, takes on American prospect Frances Tiafoe and he said the run to the Auckland final had been a massive confidence boost.
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