Venus prepares for ATP Finals after year he’ll never forget
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 doubles French Open 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 I had no idea who she was, so I Googled her and saw her ranking was 10 in the world and thought this could work. 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 (Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau) have about 4500 points.
‘‘Typically the cut of 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 improve an 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.
It’s 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 season ever and also already healthy bank Finals. ‘‘It’s all court lit up.’’
In the mixed doubles final at the US Open, he and Chan lost to Swiss legend Martina Hingis and Jamie Murray 6-1 4-6 10-8 in front of a decent sized crowd at the 23,771 capacity Arthur Ashe Stadium.
‘‘I met my partner for the first time when we were walking out on court for our first match, so it was a quick learning curve, but we got on well and had a great run,’’ Venus said. ‘‘To play on Arthur Ashe Stadium is something you dream about, it’s the biggest tennis court in the world and it was something that was very cool.’’
Venus said the arrangement to play with Chan came through her coach and once he did some research, thought she could be a good partner.
‘‘I was playing in Cincinnati and dark, with just the we’d just won our quarterfinal match,’’ Venus said. ’’I was on a bike in the gym and her coach came up to me and asked if I had a mixed doubles partner yet for the US Open and if not, did I want to play with his player.
‘‘At that time to be honest, I had no idea who she was, so I Googled her and saw her ranking was 10 in the world and thought this could work. So I said yes, why not?’’
Venus says the Kiwi/Taiwan duo looks set to continue into 2018 as they’ve already agreed to team up at January’s Australian Open.
‘‘After our semifinals match we were walking back to the lockers and she said would I be interested at playing at the Aussie Open and I said for sure,’’ Venus said.
‘‘We may as well keep going with something that’s working, so we’ll have another crack at it over in Melbourne.’’
Lydia Ko has had her fair share of setback this year but is coming into the Open in decent form. ‘You can’t make everybody happy, that’s the bottom line,’ she says.
Michael Venus and Chan Hao-ching will play together again at next year’s Australian Open.