Tennis: Kiwis avoid seeds in French Open draw

By Matt Brown

Michael Venus. Photo / Getty Images
Michael Venus. Photo / Getty Images

Kiwi doubles players avoid the seeds opening round of the French Open By Matt Brown in Paris The three Kiwis have avoided the seeded teams in the first round of the doubles at the French Open.

Top ranked Michael Venus and his Croatian partner Mate Pavic have received a difficult draw however. They have been pitted against American's Eric Butorac and Scott Lipsky, the pair they beat in the final of Auckland's ASB Classic in January.

Artem Sitak and his American partner Nicholas Monroe have been drawn against Russian Teymuraz Gabashvili and Argentine Diego Schwartzman with the winner to potentially meet the 9th seeds Lukas Kubot and Alexander Peya in the second round. Marcus Daniell and his American partner Brian Baker will play against Marcos Baghdatis and Dimitri Tursinov.

Sitak felt it was a good draw for all three Kiwis.

""Everyone's good obviously, it's the French Open, but we know our opponents pretty well and know how to play them."

On his opponents, Sitak thought there would be few surprises. "Marcus and I played against Gabashvili in Istanbul a few weeks ago so know what to expect. Gabashvili had a win last year over the Bryan's in doubles so is a good player." Sitak said.

Sitak and Monroe teamed together for a few months last year and the Kiwi says they are hitting like a settled combination.

"We remember how we play what our strengths are and what we have to do on court. We got to hit a lot over the last three days and have practiced with some of the best pairings."

"I really like clay, the sliding the movement and feel I am always balanced on the surface which is a big advantage and putting a little more spin on my serve." Sitak said.

Daniell felt they would have a good chance in his match against Baghdatis and Tursinov.

"It will be a fun match against those guys. Both hit big from the ground and are good tennis players. Brian knows them well and has already given me some good tips about how to play them best." Daniell said.

If the Kiwis win their respective matches they will be guaranteed 19 thousand euros per team for making the second round.

Matt Brown is covering the French Open thanks to Emirates Airline

- NZ Herald

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