Heat a factor in del Potro's NZ final loss

Heat a factor in del Potro's NZ final loss

But it was Del Potro who was the more clinical in taking his chances, coming through to claim a 6-4 6-4 triumph that sets up a showpiece with another Spaniard, Roberto Bautista Agut.

Fifth-seed Bautista Agut, who won the title in 2016, outlasted second-seed del Potro, the 2009 champion, in a match of remarkable highs and lows.

Del Potro said he found it hard to play in humid conditions in the daytime Saturday after playing his previous matches at night.

However, Del Potro broke at the ideal time - in the 10th game - in the second set to level the match.

He then blitzed the second set, unleashing his trademark ground-stroke game and playing relentlessly accurate shots to settle the match.

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The Spanish player swept through the first set in only 31 minutes as del Potro seemed to struggle in warm conditions on a packed center court. "It's a good start for me", he said.

Yet the Argentinian second seed recovered to take out the second set and repeatedly come close in the third, only to be broken late and lose 7-5.

"David is a great fighter, we have a great relationship and it's going to be an interesting match to watch". 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. I think the crowd enjoyed the game.

It was all about the Spaniard in the rest of the set, he held at 15 in game 5 with some stunning forehands and he cracked another victor from that wing to break Delpo once again, moving a game away from the opening set.

Roberto did nothing wrong in the first 8 games either, dropping just 4 points on serve in the opening 4 games, and he served to stay in the set in game 10. He again saved a break point before winning the set in 50 minutes.

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