Del Potro is seeded 12th in the Australian Open with Bautista Agut 20th, but it was the Spaniard who was in command in Auckland.
He romped through the first set in 31 minutes as he broke Del Potro three times and produced numerous forehand winners.
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He then blitzed the second set, unleashing his trademark ground-stroke game and playing relentlessly accurate shots to settle the match.
Earlier, fifth seed Bautista Agut outlasted Dutchman Robin Haase in an epic clash that took nearly three hours before the Spaniard produced an audacious backhand lob that kissed the baseline to clinch the 6-7 (7) 7-6 (3) 7-6 (5) win. I've been fighting a lot on the court, and I couldn't believe I was playing my best tennis.
Del Potro said he found it hard to play in humid conditions in the daytime Saturday after playing his previous matches at night.
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"I started the match very well". "You never know what will happen but I took my chances and got through". 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.
"I served really well in the second set and I tried to play aggressively with my forehand, and I think I did it".
Still, he failed to make an impact with his serve and Bautista Agut broke again in game 4 to open up a 3-1 lead, controlling the points from the baseline and getting some errors from his opponent who still struggled to gain his range. He again saved a break point before winning the set in 50 minutes.
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