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Del Potro To Face Defending Champ Tomic

Sydney, Australia

del Potro Heineken Open 2014 Auckland semi-finals© Getty ImagesJuan Martin del Potro is chasing his 18th tour-level title.

World No. 5 Juan Martin del Potro advanced to his 25th tour-level final on Friday as he defeated Dmitry Tursunov 6-4, 6-2 in the semi-finals of the Apia International Sydney.

The Argentine will look to win his 18th title as he goes up against defending champion Bernard Tomic on Saturday. Del Potro leads the pair’s FedEx ATP Head2Head series 1-0, beating Tomic last year at the Citi Open in Washington.

The top-seeded del Potro improved to a 3-0 FedEx ATP Head2Head record over Tursunov as he hit nine aces and won 86 per cent of his service points. The Tandil native converted three of his five break points.

"I think I played my best match of the week," said del Potro. "I played great with my forehands and serves. I didn't make easy errors and I played solid on the baseline. I think I did everything okay, and I'm glad with my level of play today.  I'm looking forward for the final of tomorrow."

Watch del Potro-Tursunov Highlights:

Fourth seed Tursunov was looking to reach the final at this ATP World Tour 250 tournament for the second time, having lifted the trophy in 2008 (d. Guccione).

Tomic gave himself the chance to retain his Sydney crown after battling past qualifier Sergiy Stakhovsky 6-7(4), 7-5, 6-3 in two hours and 14 minutes. The Australian saved seven of the eight break points he faced to beat Stakhovsky for the second time in two meetings.

"The way I played here, I'm very happy," said Tomic. "Tomorrow is going to be a difficult match. I've got to prepare as best as I can. Last time I played he beat me pretty comfortably, 6-3, 6-3. I felt like I had chances in that match. I have to go for my shots and play the way I played in my first round and the quarters to win."

The No. 52-ranked Tomic won his first ATP World Tour title with victory over Kevin Anderson in the 2013 Sydney final. The 21 year old learned on Friday that he will face World No. 1 Rafael Nadal in the first round of the Australian Open.

Indo-Pak Express Advance to First Final in More Than Two Years
The “Indo-Pak Express” of Rohan Bopanna and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi continued their impressive early season form, routing the Czech-Portuguese duo of Lukas Rosol and Joao Sousa 6-1, 6-2 in the Sydney semi-finals. Four-time champions on the ATP World Tour, including at the 2011 BNP Paribas Masters, Bopanna and Qureshi reunited in 2014 after two years apart. 

They will face another new doubles tandem in Saturday’s final, after Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic came back to defeat Julien Benneteau and Edouard Roger-Vasselin 4-6, 7-6(5), 10-5 in the second semi-final. The Canadian-Serbian team is also in the midst of a reunion on the ATP World Tour, having claimed 23 tour-level trophies from 2007 to 2012, including the 2010 Sydney crown.

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