Narrow loss for Routliffe and Venus at Roland Garros

Wednesday, 05 June 2024

Erin Routliffe and Michael lost a close mixed doubles quarterfinal at the French Open, but showed how much potential they have if they get the opportunity to team up again at Roland Garros for the Olympics next month.

On Court 14 on Wednesday they lost 4-6 6-4 10-7 to Laura Siegemund from Germany and France’s Edouard Roger-Vasselin, in a match that lasted one hour, 26 minutes.

By getting to the quarterfinals they will split €17,500 (NZ$30,800) and they showed they can mix it with the best doubles teams in the world, narrowly losing to the No 2 seeds. 

It was a tight opening to the match, but the Kiwi pair managed to win a sudden-death deuce point on Roger-Vasselin’s serve in the sixth game.

Routliffe served superbly in the next game to give herself and Venus a 5-2 lead, but two games later, when Venus was serving for the set, he fell behind 30-40 and on the next point Siegemund put away a volley at the net. 

However, in the following game, the New Zealand team had two set points and on the first  Routliffe ripped a cross-court backhand winner, which brought smiles to the faces of herself and Venus.

In the third game of the next set, Routliffe double-faulted at 15-40 and Siegemund and Roger-Vasselin were able to keep hold of that lead, with the Frenchman serving an ace on set point.

So the match went to a super tiebreak and at the first change of ends, Siegemund and Roger-Vasselin were up 4-2. When they swapped again the lead was 7-5 and Routliffe put a volley into the net on the following point. 

Venus attacked Siegemund's second serve to pull back one mini-break and he saved the first match point on his serve. But at 7-9 Routliffe had a tricky smash to play moving backwards and her ball was just a bit too deep.

Routliffe and Venus agreed to team up for the French Open to get time on court together ahead of the Olympics, but that could come down to whether Venus is able to make it into the main draw with Marcus Daniell for the men’s doubles, as nations are unable to send players to Paris just for the mixed doubles.

Routliffe could team up with either Lulu Sun or Paige Hourigan for the women’s doubles and these selection decisions will be known soon after the conclusion of the French Open.

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