Tournament 2 Jan 2020

Kiwi top seed for ASB Classic Men’s Week

by Rhonda Karl
Kiwi top seed for ASB Classic Men’s Week

New Zealand’s Michael Venus will headline a very strong doubles draw for the 2020 ASB Classic with new partner, Australian John Peers.

Venus has had another outstanding year on tour, adding to more ATP doubles titles to his name (Washington, Halle) and breaking inside the top 10 for the first time in his career. The Kiwi hit his highest ranking of No. 8 in the world after reaching the semi-final of Wimbledon with South African partner Raven Klaasen. The duo made another seven quarterfinals and three finals including the ATP Tour finals to finish off their stellar year.

Australian Peers is a world class doubles specialist who was just shy from the top spot in 2017. The experienced Aussie will partner Venus for the first time in Auckland and the pair are looking to live up to their top seed ranking.

“I’m looking forward to getting out on court with John, and we want to start on a winning note especially in my hometown. I love playing in front of family and friends” says Venus.

Fellow Kiwi Marcus Daniell has also made the main draw with Austrian partner Phillipp Oswald. Like Venus, Daniell’s partner comes with some serious clout, winning a total of 10 ATP doubles titles in his career, two of which came in 2019.  Masterton born Daniell also added to his title collection this season and with a combined ranking of 84, the pair sit in the middle of the tournament field.

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Tournament Director Karl Budge is happy with how the field has come together and is looking forward to some great doubles matches this year.

“It’s fantastic to have a Kiwi in the number one ranking, especially considering the strength of the field and that it’s his some tournament. I know he’s really looking forward to getting back out on court.

“To have a doubles field as strong as this is outstanding for us as a tournament. A lot of those doubles matches are pure entertainment, and having Kiwis represented strongly in the field means I’m sure tennis fans are in for some great matches” said Budge.

The doubles field itself is the strongest it’s been in recent history with all pairs having a combined raking under 100.

This includes two-time ASB Classic Champion and former world No. 1 Mate Pavic who comes back to Auckland with his new partner Bruno Soares, who has also held the ASB Classic trophy aloft. Last year’s champion Ben McLachlan will return to defend his title with new partner Luke Bambridge from the UK.  27-year old McLachlan, who hails from Queenstown, is sitting inside the top 50 after reaching multiple quarterfinals, two semi-finals and two finals in 2019.

Another notable player to watch is flamboyant Italian Fabio Fognini who will partner fellow countryman Simon Bolelli. So whether it’s the local players you’re supporting or someone further afield, there is plenty of top class international talent looking to take home the title this year.  

2020 ASB Classic Men's Doubles Field 

  1. Michael Venus (10)         John Peers (26)           
  2. Mate Pavic (18)               Bruno Soares (21)        
  3. Jean-Julien Rojer (20)     Horia Tecau (19)               
  4. Rohan Bopanna (38)       Henri Kontinen (17)     
  5. Austin Krajicek (42)         Franko Skugor (35)     
  6. Marcus Daniell (43)         Philipp Oswald (41)         
  7. Sander Gille (47)             Joran Vliegen (39)               
  8. Simone Bolelli (80)          Fabio Fognini (148)          
  9. Luke Bambridge (51)       Ben McLachla (44)                    
  10. Leonardo Mayer (61)      Joao Sousa (37)   
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