Latest 14 Dec 2017

Kiwi Grand Slam Doubles Champion given wildcard

by Julia Atkinson
Kiwi Grand Slam Doubles Champion given wildcard

Kiwi doubles sensation Michael Venus will not only vie for the doubles title but play singles at the ASB Classic in January after being given a wildcard entry to the main draw. 

The Roland Garros doubles champion has been in electric form this season, winning his first grand slam doubles title at the French Open and another clay court title at Estoril, both with American partner Ryan Harrison.

The North Shore kid then went on to become the first NZ tennis player to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals last month. An event for the top eight singles and doubles players in the world. Alongside Harrison, the pair went through the round robin games unbeaten, to make the semi final.

Given his current form and career breaking season tournament director Karl Budge said this was an easy decision to make. 

“I think Mike is New Zealand’s best singles player.  He has done an incredible job each time he has played main draw for us in recent years and has earnt the right to have another crack.  That, coupled with the unbelievable year he has had made it a pretty simple decision for us”. 

This season’s results are off the back of the four doubles titles Venus took out last year including the ASB Classic. 30-year old Venus is looking to put on another winning performance for the home crowd in January. 

“I love coming home to play, I’ve had some success in the past and there’s no place I’d rather play than in front of my family, friends and the kiwi fans on centre court.”

After his grand slam triumph, Venus reached his career high doubles ranking of 12 in July, and he’s now playing regularly at the top tournaments and beating the world’s best.

Singles wise, there’s no pressure on Venus which puts him in a very dangerous position for his opponents, throw in a packed home crowd and the doubles specialist will be someone no one would be keen to play.  

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