Heat a factor in del Potro's NZ final loss

Heat a factor in del Potro's NZ final loss

The second-seeded del Potro will aim for his first Classic title since 2009, while the 29-year-old Bautista Agut will seek his second crown in three years.

"When I saw the ball in, I went insane", Bautista Agut said.

And there could be more where that came from if the fifth-seeded Spaniard upsets Classic men's singles favourite Juan Martin del Potro in today's final.

A star attraction at this year's Classic, world No.12 del Potro was scheduled for night matches on each day and felt unprepared for his afternoon final.

After an entertaining final set, Bautista Agut broke for 6-5 and had to save a break point as he served out the match.

He targeted the Argentinian's backhand with confidence and when he switched to the forehand court del Potro's return placement was off in the first set.

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"I'm exhausted", Del Potro said in a court-side interview.

But the lanky Argentine lived up to his never-say-die attitude and rallied back in the second set, taking advantage of the only break point in the set to force a decider.

"When I had to play in the sun it was very tough for me", del Potro said.

"I tried to serve hard to hit hard with my forehand, to play some slices and drop shots, it's never easy against David because he runs a lot and he's a fighter". 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.

There, both players held easily in the first 10 games, hitting some powerful forehand winners like that one that kept Roberto in the match in the 10th game when he served to prolong the final.

"And then I think my game improved a little bit".

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