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ASB Classic finalists chasing maiden title

A maiden ATP winner will be unearthed at the ASB Classic in Auckland after American Tennys Sandgren and Briton Cameron Norrie advanced to the final.

ASB Classic finalists chasing maiden title

A maiden ATP winner will be unearthed at the ASB Classic in Auckland after American Tennys Sandgren and Briton Cameron Norrie advanced to the final.

TENNYS SANDGREN of the United States plays a backhand against Dominic Thiem of Austria of the 2018 Australian Open at Melbourne Park in Australia.
TENNYS SANDGREN of the United States plays a backhand against Dominic Thiem of Austria of the 2018 Australian Open at Melbourne Park in Australia. Picture:Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images

Tennys Sandgren is flexing his muscles for another deep run at the Australian Open after cruising into the final of the ASB Classic in Auckland.

Sandgren will play Briton Cameron Norrie in Saturday's decider, a clash of two players pursuing maiden ATP singles titles.


Both dominated semi-finals bereft of seeded players in hot conditions on Friday.

The 27-year-old American was especially impressive in a swift dismissal of veteran German Philipp Kohlshreiber, needing 70 minutes to prevail 6-4 6-2.

Sandgren, the last player accepted into the main draw, hasn't dropped a set all week and is approaching the form that took him to the last eight in Melbourne last year.

The highest-ranked quarter-finalist at the Australian Open in 22 years, Sandgren toppled Dominic Thiem and Stan Wawrinka before losing a battle of the outsiders with Korean Chung Hyeon.

Now ranked 63rd, Sandgren is confident heading into just his second ATP final.

"It's nice to see the nice work I've put in over the last month and a half come into fruition right now," he said.

"That's really gratifying for me. Philipp's a great player. He kind of tuned me up the last time we played. So feeling like I might be improving is a good feeling."

The 27-year-old is four years older than Norrie and ranked 30 places higher.

However, left-hander Norrie has also impressed, playing more energy than German Jan-Lennard Struff to win 7-5 4-6 6-3.

Johannesburg-born and raised in Auckland, Norrie has been adopted by the home crowd despite switching allegiance to Great Britain six years ago.

The former junior Kiwi tennis representative thanked the crowd after outlasting Lennard, who struggled in the wake of a three-hour quarter-final the previous night.

"It's so special to get through. It's my first final so to do it at home means so much to me," he said.

"It's such an honour to be playing on the court where I grew up. I'm a little bit shaky but it feels great."

AAP


AAP




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