Venus and Puetz resume quest to qualify for Turin
Michael Venus and Tim Puetz are under some pressure as they head to Basel in Switzerland for the ATP 500 tournament.
The pair pulled out of last week’s Stockholm Open with Puetz suffering from a back strain. But he and Venus have reunited in Switzerland where they are seeded second and face Hugo Nys and Jan Zielinski in the first round.
Venus and Puetz are 8th in the race to secure a place at next month’s ATP Finals in Turin. Eight teams qualify with a couple of other pairings included as alternates. Venus and Puetz were alternates last year.
But the Kiwi and German combo are only 290 points ahead of Italians Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini with the 10th ranked pair of Croatian Ivan Dodig and American Austin Krajicek 360 points behind. Colombians Robert Farah and Juan Sebastian Cabal are 365 points behind and right in the hunt with 1500 points up for grabs this week in Basel and the rival Vienna tournament and the Paris Masters 1000 tournament next week. The good news for Venus and Puetz is Bolelli and Fognini won’t get any closer to them this week after a first-round loss.
On the ATP Challenger Tour Ajeet Rai has qualified for the main draw at Playford in South Australia with a 6-1 6-1 win over Aussie Jake Delaney. Rubin Statham is also in the main draw and plays Aussie Li Tu in the first round who has ATP ranking of 190.
Doubles player Artem Sitak is playing the Las Vegas Challenger with American Alex Lawson. They play Jack Atherton and Thomas Navarro in the first round.