Defending champions oust Michael Venus and John Peers at Australian Open

Monday, 15 February 2021

There will be no Kiwi battle in the doubles quarter finals at the Australian tennis Open in Melbourne. Michael Venus and his Australian partner John Peers have lost a tight third round match to 5th seeds and defending champions Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury 7-6 (4) 7-6 (4) in one hour 50. 

The American and British duo will take on New Zealand’s Marcus Daniell and his Austrian partner Philipp Oswald in the quarter finals on Wednesday. Daniell will be striving to make the semi-finals of a Grand Slam for the first time. 

Venus and Peers made a slow start. The Kiwi had to stave off four break points in the opening game of the match and then Peers dropped his first service game as Ram and Salisbury jumped out to an early lead. 

But serving for the set at 5-4 Salisbury was broken with a sizzling cross court passing shot from Peers. The set was decided in a tie break with Salisbury and Ram the more solid pair on serve. 

Games went with serve throughout the second set and again it went into a tie break. Ram and Salisbury emerged victorious with the key point coming at 2-3 on Venus’s serve where they defended half a dozen smashes from Venus and Peers to win the point and go up a mini break. Venus and Peers saved two match points before Salisbury hit a backhand winner to clinch the match. Venus and Peers will now part ways at least for the next couple of months with the Kiwi to return home to quarantine and then be with his wife Sally who is due with the couple’s second child in April. It’s unclear when Venus will resume his season but is likely to be in the European clay court season. 

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