Del Potro makes confident start in Auckland

Argentina's 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.

Former US Open champion del Potro hit eight aces to breeze past the 18-year-old Canadian, who hit 20 winners but committed 40 unforced errors.

The 29-year-old second seed, who won the tournament in 2009 in his last appearance, will now be the favourite after top-seeded American Jack Sock was bundled out by unheralded Peter Gojowczyk.

Defending champion Sock lost 6-3, 6-3 in only 61 minutes to his German opponent, who is ranked 65th in the world.

In the last eight, Gojowczyk meets Robin Haase, while del Potro will face Russian Karen Khachanov, who beat sixth-seeded Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas 6-2, 7-6 (7/4). - REUTERS