Venus and Puetz bow out of Australian Open doubles after pulsating quarter final
Michael Venus and Tim Puetz have put up a big fight but have come up short against Aussie wildcards Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis in their quarter final at the Australian Open.
In front of a raucous crowd at the Kia Arena, the unseeded pair have won 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 in 2 hours and 16 minutes.
On court afterwards Kyrgios paid credit to Venus and Puetz saying ‘they were the toughest pair they have played at the tournament.’
Both pairs had their chances in the first set.
Venus saved a break point in the opening service game with an audacious second serve at 30-40 and then Kokkinakis saved a couple of break points at 3-4.
At 5-5 Puetz found himself in big trouble, a couple of double faults had him 15-40 and while he saved the first break point, Venus netted a forehand volley and Kokkinakis after getting the break served out the opening set in 51 minutes.
Kyrgios had served superbly and was untroubled throughout the first set. The Australian pair sent down 13 aces and only dropped two points on first serve.
But after Venus held serve in the opening game of the second set, Kyrgios with a couple of loose points found himself 30-40. A wonderful return of serve from Puetz set up Venus to put away the forehand volley and get an early break.
They raced to a 5-2 lead and had three set points on the Kokkinakis serve but the Aussie held leaving Venus to try to close out the set.
From 0-40 he dug himself out of trouble and held to send the match to a decider.
Games went with serve until the 4th game when Puetz was broken to love and after Kyrgios held to love, the Australian pair led 4-1. After Venus held serve Kokkinakis faced a break point in the next game but held for a 5-2 lead. Puetz held comfortably and it was left to Kyrgios to close out the match which he did with some thunderous serving.
The Australians converted 2 of 11 break point chances in the match with Venus and Puetz breaking just once from six opportunities.