Venus,Daniell and Sitak discover Australian Open opponents

Sunday, 07 February 2021

The Australian Open doubles draw is out with Artem Sitak receiving the toughest start from a New Zealand perspective. The Kiwi number three and his British partner Jonny O’Mara have been pitted against 5th seeds Britain’s Joe Salisbury and American Rajeev Ram.

"We play the defending champions." Sitak said. "I played them one time and lost a very close one 10-8 in the match tie break. Jonny won against them this week so  I’m looking forward to a tough battle."

New Zealand number one Michael Venus and his Australian partner John Peers are seeded 10th and will play against top Australian singles player Alex de Minaur and Matt Reid.

Venus says it will be a very difficult match.

“Alex obviously is very good and has had some big results especially in Australia over the last few years. He won a ATP1000 last year in doubles so knows what he is doing on the doubles court also. I have known Matt for a long time, and we have played many times over the years. He has a big serve so these two complement each other quite well. We will need to be ready to go from the first ball” Venus said.

Kiwi number two Marcus Daniell and his Austrian partner Philip Oswald will face a pair of singles specialists in Frenchmen Adrian Mannarino and Giles Simon.Daniell says it's an interesting draw. 

"Mannarino is a tricky guy to play against on a doubles court, and Gilles obviously has a huge amount of experience behind him. With our limited preparation we're not taking anything lightly so we're just going to try to keep our own level high and deal with whatever they throw at us."

Venus, Daniell and Sitak haven’t played with their regular partners in the leadup to the delayed first Grand Slam of the year with Venus and Daniell teaming together at the Great Ocean Road Open where they beat Sitak and his partner for the week Federico Delbonis in the round of 16.

The singles start at Melbourne Park on Monday with the doubles to get underway on Wednesday.

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