Sport

Juan Martin del Potro: 'I didn't expect to play at this level'

Juan Martin del Potro: 'I didn't expect to play at this level'”

Argentine Juan Martin del Potro made a confident start to his preparations for the Australian Open with a 6-2 6-4 win over Denis Shapovalov at the Auckland Classic yesterday.

The same, however, can not be said for Jack Sock. Chung had been a surprise package in the tournament, particularly with the way he outlasted fourth-seed John Isner in a three-set classic on Wednesday.

Del Potro's form in Auckland this week has been outstanding and he has shown no signs of a wrist injury which has dogged his career.

The 29-year-old del Potro, an ex-US Open champion and the 2009 Classic victor, will now face another Auckland ex-champion in Ferrer.

In a match characterised by long rallies and deep determination from both players, Spain's Bautista Agut eventually did enough to triumph.

Earlier, top-seed and defending champion Jack Sock of the USA made a surprise exit after losing 6-3, 6-3 to unseeded German Peter Gojowczyk.

The 18-year-old Shapovalov, considered one of the finest young talents in world tennis, admitted he was still a level off the likes of del Potro.

"I tried to focus during my service game and just do what I have to do".

The oft-injured ex-US Open victor thrashed eight aces and flummoxed Shapovalov with a number of vicious forehands, cruising to a 65-minute victory.

He also won more than 60 per cent of Vesely's second-serve points, demonstrating the big Czech's reliance on his powerful first serve.

He brushed off suggestions of indifference post-match.

"Unfortunately the match can not have two winners and I'm so happy I won", said the relieved Spaniard, who sank to his knees at the end.

Elsewhere, Spaniards Roberto Bautista Agut and David Ferrer progressed without trouble against Steve Johnson and Joao Sousa respectively.



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