Venus set for ATP Finals to end year
PHOTOSPORT MICHAEL Venus ticked off a few memorable achievements during his last overseas trip and is aiming more success on his final foray of 2017.
The 29-year-old Venus spent last week in Auckland, making a short visit home before the Asian swing of the men’s circuit, then hopefully playing in the ATP World Tour Finals in London in November.
It’s a last big push in what’s been an incredible year for New Zealand’s top tennis player, winning the French Open doubles with Ryan Harrison, then getting to the mixed doubles final at the US Open with Chan Hao-ching from Taiwan.
He’s also climbed to 15 in the world and is close to confirming his place at the World Tour Finals at the O2 Arena.
The top eight doubles teams in the world play in it, with Venus and Harrison currently seventh. But even if they are squeezed out there’s another rule that is likely to see them make it in.
‘‘There is one spot for a team which has won a Grand Slam that’s not in the top eight,’’ Venus said.
‘‘The teams that have won Aussie Open and Wimbledon have already qualified and the team that won the US Open (JeanJulien Rojer and Horia Tecau) have about 4500 points.
‘‘Typically the cut-off has been around 3500, so those guys should get in and we’ll then get in no matter what.
‘‘But I would like us to qualify points wise and if we can have some success in Asia we can take care of that ourselves.’’
Making the World Tour Finals would be the perfect way to finish off his best season ever and also improve an already healthy bank balance.
Just for making it in, he’d pick up $64,000 of prize money, there’s $25,000 for each round robin match they win and he’d get $323,000 if he and Harrison were to win the tournament undefeated.
That’s dwarfed by the $3.5 million of prize money for any player going undefeated in the singles, but it’s still not bad for a week’s work and adds nicely to the $642,000 Venus has earned this year, which is almost half he’s won in his entire career.
‘‘I’ve watched it on TV and it looks like an amazing event,’’ Venus says of the World Tour Finals. ‘‘It’s all dark, with just the court lit up.’’
Michael Venus has enjoyed a superb season.