New Zealand's Michael Venus beat former top 100 player Robert Kendrick at the US$50,000 Challenger tennis tournament in Honolulu this morning.
The Kiwi No 1 beat Kendrick, who was as high as 69 in the world in 2009 and 80 less than 12 months ago, 6-2 4-6 6-3 in one hour 45 minutes in the first round. He will now face another American Denis Kudla in the second round after Kudla knocked out sixth seed Tsung-Hua Yang (Taipei) in his match.
Kudla is currently ranked 276 in the world compared to Venus' ranking of 378.
Venus is also through to the main draw of the doubles with fellow Kiwi Daniel King-Turner after thrashing Catalin-lonut Gard of Romania and Kamil Pajkowski (Canada) 6-0 6-1 in the final round of qualifying yesterday. The Kiwi pair will play India's Yuki Bhambri and Kamil Capkovic (Slovakia) in the first round.
Rubin Statham lost his final round of qualifying yesterday against Kevin Kim (US) 6-4 2-6 6-4.