Tennis: Top ranked Kiwi loses in first round of the French Open doubles

By Matt Brown in Paris

Michael Venus celebrates after winning the men's doubles final at the ASB Classic. Photo / Getty Images
Michael Venus celebrates after winning the men's doubles final at the ASB Classic. Photo / Getty Images

New Zealand's Michael Venus and his Croatian partner Mate Pavic have suffered a first round defeat in the doubles at the French Open.

The inform pairing had come into the year's second Grand Slam on the back of reaching the final of the ATP tournament in Nice and with three tour level titles to their name.

But American's Eric Butorac and Scott Lipsky gained revenge for their straight sets defeat in the final of Auckland's ASB Classic in January with a 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 victory in one hour and 21 minutes.

It was a tight opening set with few chances to break although Venus saved three set points serving at 4-5.

The set went to a tiebreaker. The American's gained a mini break by winning the first point on Venus's serve and never looked back with some solid serving, ,the set lasting 46 minutes.

Games went with serve until the 7th game of the second set when Pavic was broken and Butorac and Lipsky were able to hold their next service games to close out the match.
Venus cut a disconsolate figure afterwards.

"I didn't play well enough and am very disappointed, but it's over now so on to the next one."

Venus and Pavic have won three titles on the ATP World Tour this year in Auckland, Montpellier and Marseille, while they were runner up in Nice just prior to the French Open.

The pair now turn their attention to the grass court season where they will play in the Netherlands, Germany, and Nottingham before Wimbledon.

Kiwi Marcus Daniell and his American partner Brian Baker are in action on day four against Marcos Baghdatis and Dimitry Tursinov, scheduled to be the second match on court 5.
The third Kiwi Artem Sitak won't start his campaign until Thursday night New Zealand time.

Matt Brown is at the French Open thanks to Emirates Airline

- Radio Sport

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