Duty calls after Venus exits in Shanghai quarterfinals
Kiwi doubles ace Michael Venus and his South African partner Raven Klaasen have lost a titanic struggle against third seeds Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo in the quarter finals of the Shanghai Masters.
Venus and Klaasen have gone down 7-6 (3) 4-6 10-7 in one hour 47 minutes.
It’s their third close loss to Kubot and Melo in four matches this year.
Klaasen dropped all four of his service points in the match tie break and that proved the difference.
The result mean Venus will now race home to his base in London to try to make the birth of his first child.
His fiancee, Sally, is due to give birth today and Venus is hoping the baby will be late.
The first set could have gone either way with a break a piece before the tie break which the third seeds won comfortably. But Venus and Klaasen hit back with an early break of serve in the second set. They saved three break points on serve to win the set and take the match to a first to 10 point match tie break.
Despite the defeat Venus and Klaasen can be well satisfied with their efforts in the Asian swing. A quarterfinal result in Shanghai and the runner-up finish in Tokyo has enhanced their chances of qualifying for the season ending ATP World Tour Finals in London.
They are seventh in the race, effectively sixth with Bob Bryan ahead of them out injured. The top eight teams after next month’s Paris Masters qualify for the finals at London’s O2 Arena.
Meanwhile, 19-year-old Kiwi Ajeet Rai has cruised into the singles final at the ITF US $15,000 Futures tournament in Hua Hin, Thailand.
The Taranaki teenager has beaten Slovenian qualifier Martin Spec 6-3 6-3. Rai will face 19-year-old Indian second seed Manish Sureshkumar for the title.
Rai is also into the doubles final in Hua Hin with Indian partner Karunuday Singh.