Auckland QF previews and predictions: Del Potro vs. Khachanov, Ferrer vs. Chung

Semifinal spots will be at stake when action resumes in Auckland on Thursday. Juan Martin Del Potro will continue his campaign against Karen Khachanov, while four-time tournament champion David Ferrer is set to face Hyeon Chung.

Karen Khachanov vs. (2) Juan Martin Del Potro

Del Potro and Khachanov will be going head-to-head for the first time in their careers when they collide in the quarterfinals of the ASB Classic on Thursday night. The 2009 champion of this event, Del Potro got his week–and his season–started in impressive fashion by cruising past 2017 breakout performer Denis Shapovalov 6-2, 6-4. The 29-year-old Argentine is now guaranteed to return tot he top 10 next week for the first time in more than three years.

Khachanov slumped mightily last fall at the end of an otherwise decent 2017 campaign, going 1-6 in his last six ATP tournaments with no wins over anyone inside the top 230. Predictably, however, an offseason seems to have done a world of good and re-energized the 21-year-old Russian. He is through to the last eight in Auckland thanks a three-set victory over Yuichi Sugita and a 6-2, 7-6(4) defeat of Pablo Cuevas. But this is a considerable step up in competition and Del Potro–who obviously feels comfortable in Auckland–turned in an especially impressive performance against Shapovalov.

Pick: Del Potro in 2

(7) David Ferrer vs. Hyeon Chung

Ferrer held off 18-year-old Yibing Wu, the 2017 U.S. Open junior champion, during first-round action this week. Following a 6-2, 6-2 beatdown of fellow veteran Joao Sousa on Wednesday, the 35-year-old Spaniard will now run into a second NextGen opponent in Chung. That may not have seemed like a likely quarterfinal contest, but Chung toppled No. 4 seed John Isner 7-6(3), 5-7, 6-2 in round two. The 21-year-old South Korean, who registers at 62nd in the rankings, also needed three sets in his opener (6-3, 5-7, 6-3 over Tennys Sandgren on Tuesday).

In the early stages of 2017, Ferrer looked like he was heading straight for retirement. But he righted the ship throughout the second half of the season to the extent that he is close to Australian Open seeding at No. 38 in the world. This week’s seventh seed is showing no signs of slowing down in Auckland, where he is an awesome 30-8 lifetime with four titles. Ferrer’s confidence at this tournament and his overall experience should get the best of an opponent who may be fatigued on the heels of two tough matches.

Pick: Ferrer in 3

5 Comments on Auckland QF previews and predictions: Del Potro vs. Khachanov, Ferrer vs. Chung

  1. Interesting semifinal between Ferrer and del Potro.. normally I’d think Ferrer has no chance there. But the Spaniard is playing well and he already won 4 times in NZ.

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