Michael Venus back in action in Madrid

Sunday, 02 May 2021

New Zealand’s top ranked doubles player Michael Venus is back on the ATP Tour for the first time since the Australian Open. Venus has spent the past few months in Auckland with wife Sally giving birth to the couple’s second daughter, Georgia last month. Venus flew out for Madrid on Thursday to re-join doubles partner John Peers for the Madrid Open.

“It was a really special time to be with family at home the last couple of months and I really enjoyed my time there. But it was time where I had to get back out there and back playing again and I am excited to get out there.” Venus said.

Venus and Peers are in action against Australians Luke Saville and Max Purcell in their first round match tomorrow.

“They made the finals at the Australian Open last year and it’s going to be a tough match but there are no easy ones in these tournaments. We will go out with a game plan and try to execute.”

“It’s obviously been a couple of months without a match and then my first time on clay for a while and having altitude here, so a few things to deal with in a short space of time. But I have prepared as well as possible so I will see what happens.”

“They made the finals at the Australian Open last year and it’s going to be a tough match but there are no easy ones in these tournaments. We will go out with a game plan and try to execute.”

Venus is 15th in the ATP doubles rankings but needed to get active again in order not to drop down the rankings with points no longer frozen if you didn’t play.

“The ATP started taking the points off your ranking a few weeks ago from Miami so in a sense you either come out and play or if you stay at home you will lose your ranking, so I had no choice but to get back out and competing.”

The bubble system in place is similar to last year when tennis resumed.

“It’s still pretty much the same for us. The only difference is if you have been vaccinated when you first arrive at the tournament you still get tested but don’t have to wait for the result, you can go straight to the courts and practice. But we are confined to the hotel and courts which is similar to last year.”

Venus will play a full schedule over the next few months as he and Peers focus on their goal of qualifying for the ATP Tour Finals for the second straight year together. This year’s event is being held in Turin for the first time. Due to having not played together other than the Australian Open, Venus and Peers are 37th in the race and will need to find form quickly to get into contention.

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