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

Tennis: Significant win for Kiwi pro Venus

Michael Venus of New Zealand play a forehand against Benoit Paire at the Heineken Open. Photo / Getty Images
Michael Venus of New Zealand play a forehand against Benoit Paire at the Heineken Open. Photo / Getty Images

Michael Venus has had a significant breakthrough today, achieving his first singles win over a top-100 player.

Venus, who has concentrated almost exclusively on doubles over the last two years, beat world No89 Marco Ceccinatio in the first round of a Challenger tournament in Texas.

The New Zealand Davis Cup player got into the main draw via the 'lucky loser' route, after being defeated in the final round of qualifying.

He then made the most of his opportunity, prevailing 6-3 3-6 6-3 over Ceccinato in one hour 42 minutes.

"It's nice to get that victory, I've come close, but to get another chance at the main draw and then score the win over a top 100 player is good for me," said Venus. "I've been working hard and it paid off today."

Michael Venus talks to Dave Worsley about his victory

Venus faces American world No158 Jared Donaldson in the next round.

To top off a successful day, Venus also progressed to the quarter finals of the doubles, with the New Zealander and Australian John-Patrick Smith beating Denis Istomin (Uzbekistan) and Dmitry Tursunov (Russia) 6-7(10) 6-4 10-8.

They face Leander Paes (India) and Lukas Rosol (Czech Republic) in the quarter-finals.
Venus has already won three doubles tournaments this year, in Auckland, Marseille and Montpellier, alongside regular doubles partner Mate Pavic.

- NZ Herald

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