Duty calls af­ter Venus ex­its in Shang­hai quar­ter­fi­nals

The Southland Times - - Sport - Ten­nis

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.

Michael Venus

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