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Juan Martin del Potro eases past Denis Shapovalov in Auckland Classic

first_imgJuan Martin del Potro began his season with a comfortable victory over Canadian Denis Shapovalov in the Round of 16 at the Auckland Classic on Wednesday.In preparation for the Australian Open, starting January 15, Del Potro proved just too strong for the Canadian and won 6-2, 6-4.Shapovalov’s 40 unforced errors brought him down despite the 20 winners he hit. Del Potro clearly overpowered the 18-year-old firing eight aces.Former US Open champion Del Potro is the second seed in the tournament that he won during his last appearance here in 2009.ALSO WATCHDel Potro will next be up against Russian Karen Khachanov in the quarter-finals, who has quickly been rising through the ranks recently.Khachanov beat sixth seed Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay 6-2, 7-6(4) to advance to the quarter-finals.”I was surprised by the match today,” said Del Potro, who had lost to Shapovalov in Montreal last August. “I didn’t expect to play at this level in the first match of the year.”But I’ve been working hard to play this tennis and hopefully I can still improve in the next matches.”If he has a good day, he is very dangerous as a lefty, he serves well and volleys. Denis played better than me in the Montreal match, but today I broke him three times to love and that was the key.”However, with top seed American Jack Sock knocked out by German Peter Gojowczyk, Del Potro will be the favourite for the title.Defending champion Sock completely faltered against Gojowczyk and lasted only 61 minutes before being defeated 3-6, 3-6.advertisementThe Australian Open, the first Grand Slam of the year, runs from January 15-28.(With inputs from Reuters)last_img read more