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Sousa dumps Baghdatis out of Classic

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 13/01/2017 Angelo Risso

Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis has gone down in his ASB Classic men's semi. © Michael Bradley/AFP/Getty Images Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis has gone down in his ASB Classic men's semi. Portuguese tennis player Joao Sousa has crushed Cypriot world No.36 Marcos Baghdatis 6-1, 7-5 to qualify for the ASB Classic final.

Heavily favoured heading into the match, the former Australian Open finalist simply couldn't get his game going in Auckland and won barely a quarter of return points.

Service was also a major sore point as the 31-year-old Baghdatis notched five double faults and nailed less than half of all first serves.

The 27-year-old Sousa, meanwhile, played crisp shots from beginning to end and made his higher-profile foe do plenty of running at the baseline.

He roared out of the blocks, winning his first five games before serving out the set at 6-1, and held strong in the second set with Baghdatis breathing down his neck.

Ahead 5-4, Baghdatis had the chance to send the match into a decider but wasted a protracted deuce point, before being broken in the following game.

Sousa then served out the set to win 6-1, 7-5.

"I think today I played a solid match," Sousa said.

"Marcos is a very tough player, a very difficult player to beat, so I'm very happy."

He'll now go on to play either Steve Johnson or fourth-seeded Jack Sock in Saturday's final.

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