All three Kiwis about to get their US Open doubles campaigns underway in New York
Michael Venus, Marcus Daniell, and Erin Routliffe get their doubles campaigns underway overnight at the US Open in New York. (Friday NZT) Venus is first on court with his German partner Tim Puetz. The 12th seeds face Germany’s Dominik Koepfer and Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori first up on Court 9 at 3am NZT.
World number 21 Venus expects a tricky encounter against two players who are very good singles players.
“Tim and I played Koepfer in Halle earlier this year on the grass and that was a tight match there. He went to college in the States and has always played a lot of doubles and knows what he’s doing Ruusuvuori is a young up and comer and is playing well and made the semi-finals in Winston-Salem last week, so it’s going to be a challenging match, they both hit the ball hard and we are going to have to be ready to go from the beginning.” Venus said.
The US Open has been Venus’s least successful Grand Slam with only two third round appearances.
“I’m not sure why that is, I have been able to progress further at the others so I am not sure why that is and hopefully I can change that this year. Each time Tim and I play together we have a better understanding and things are going well, we are having some great practices and feeling good.”
26-year-old Routliffe is partnering 18-year-old Canadian rising star Laylah Fernandez who is through to the third round of the singles in New York. They meet American Christina McHale and Mexico’s Giuliana Olmos in the second match of the day on court 8. (Approximately 4-30-5am NZT)
The Kiwi is playing in her second US Open and fourth Grand Slam in all and feels she is making good progress with her game.
“When you are getting to the bigger tournaments there is a level you have to get to and be more comfortable playing at that level. I feel like I have become a lot more consistent, I have been more aggressive and consistently being aggressive coming to the net more and serve and volleying.”
Routliffe who is ranked 108 in the WTA doubles rankings is teaming up with left-handed Fernandez for the first time. She texted the young Canadian a couple of weeks ago and asked her if she wanted to play.
“I really like her game she is a lefty and is really aggressive and works really hard and I just texted her and she said yes and that’s how it works.” Routliffe said.
Routliffe knows plenty about her opponents and says Olmos is a friend who she went to the University of Southern California with.
“I know her game quite well but have only seen Christina play singles and she’s a great player so it will be a tough match, but we are excited and ready.” Routliffe said.
Routliffe and Fernandez are followed onto court by Marcus Daniell and his Brazilian partner Marcelo Demoliner. They take on the British pair of Dan Evans and Llyod Glasspool. Evans is also into the third round of the singles.
Daniell and Demoliner played together for two seasons earlier in the Kiwi’s career, they reunited last week and made the quarter finals at the Winston Salem ATP tournament and Daniell says they have quickly got their combination going again.
“One of the nice things about playing with a guy you have played a lot with is everything is everything just feels really easy. You have already done it a few hundred times in the past, so everything has clicked seamlessly. The thing we have to get clear on is the positive energy right from the start.” Daniell said.
The 31-year-old says they are expecting a difficult match.
“It’s an interesting one, dan is a world class singles player and a world class doubles player who has been to two master’s series doubles finals this year with Neal Skupski, so definitely not taking him lightly. Lloyd is a bit more of a dark horse who won a tournament this year so can obviously play. It’s a tricky pairing and definitely not one we are taking lightly.” Daniell said.