Michael Burgess is the football and rugby league writer for the Herald on Sunday.

Tennis: All-Kiwi Classic win would be more special

Marcus Daniell, right, and Artem Sitak are carrying Kiwi hopes at the ASB Classic. Photo / Nick Reed
Marcus Daniell, right, and Artem Sitak are carrying Kiwi hopes at the ASB Classic. Photo / Nick Reed

Kiwi Marcus Daniell has previously lifted the doubles trophy at Auckland's ATP tournament, but admits a title with compatriot Artem Sitak would be extra special.

Daniell and Sitak have moved one step closer to the final, gaining a walkover win over Sam Querrey and Steve Johnson, after Querrey pulled out with a knee injury last night.

So instead of playing their quarter final tonight, Daniell and Sitak progress directly to the Friday's semi-finals.

"We were ready to play tonight after a couple of days of practice but another day of practice isn't going to hurt, said Daniell. "We are going to be just as excited to get out on Friday."

Daniell won the final here in 2010, as part of an unseeded combination alongside Romanian Horia Tecau. He still has fond m memories of that victory, but would a triumph with Sitak be more special?

"It definitely would be," said Daniell. "Horia was made an honourary Kiwi that week - he got given an All Black jersey- but that was one off [partnership]. Artem and I have been playing together for a long time and to have full Kiwi team take it out in front of a home crowd would be super special."

And the semi-final could yet be a unique occasion, if Michael Venus and Croatian Mate Pavic progress through their quarter final tonight against third seeds Alexander Peya and Philipp Petzschner.

"We get great support here but if we play Mike it will be half and half probably," joked Sitak.

- NZ Herald

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