Two of the three Kiwis advance in men’s doubles at Australian Open

Thursday, 23 January 2020

Michael Venus and Artem Sitak (pictured) are both through to the second round of the men’s doubles at the Australian Open in Melbourne but Marcus Daniell has bowed out of the tournament.

7th seeds Venus and Australian John Peers have bounced back from the disappointment of losing in the first round of the ASB Classic by beating Dane Freddie Nielsen and Germany’s Tim Puetz 7-5 6-3 in 1 hour 14.

Venus and Klaasen will play the Argentine pair of Federico Delbonis and Leonardo Mayer in the second round.

Earlier Artem Sitak and his Indian partner Divij Sharan overcame the dangerous pair of Portugal’s Joao Sousa and Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta 6-4 7-5 in 1 hour and 28 minutes.

“Very happy it was a quality match from us, and we were solid on serve in the first set. But we got broken in the second set and stayed strong in the returning games.” Sitak said.

They came back from 3-5 down to win the next four games to clinch their place in the second round.

“The last 15 minutes was flawless from us really. We made all the volleys returns and poaches.”

Sitak and Sharan will play either ASB Classic champions Ben McLachlan and Luke Bambridge or 10th seeds Mate Pavic and Bruno Soares in the second round.

The third Kiwi in the draw Marcus Daniell and his Austrian partner Philipp Oswald have been beaten 6-4 6-4 by 6th seeds Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos.

Daniell said it was a tough first round against a quality opponent.

“Unfortunately my partner was struggling a little bit with an ab injury and when it’s windy like it was today, anything that drags you out from your most comfortable position is tough on an injury so I felt we were a little limited today and it paid off for them to break through once a set and that was that.” Daniell said.

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