Tennis: Kiwi pair settle into Rio routine

Michael Venus celebrates during the ASB Classic. Photo / Getty Images
Michael Venus celebrates during the ASB Classic. Photo / Getty Images

New Zealand's tennis pair at the Rio Olympics have settled into the athletes village and have been practicing twice a day since they arrived in the warm conditions in the Brazilian seaside city.

Michael Venus ranked 41 and Marcus Daniell 58th are both making their debut at the Olympics. South African-born, now Queenstown resident Lan Bale is their coach for Rio.

"So far the Olympics has been incredible," Daniell says. "The atmosphere within the village is completely different to what I'm used to. There are athletes of all shapes and sizes from all over the world and everyone is stoked to be here. The enthusiasm is infectious.

"The tennis site is already being run fairly well and we're getting some very good practice sessions in. Mike, Lan and I are getting along great and really gelling as a team. I think we're going to be dangerous. The other thing that has struck me is how kind and friendly all the Kiwis are. There is a super positive vibe in our building and everyone is smiling."

Both Daniell and Venus will march with the New Zealand team at the opening ceremony.

The last New Zealand male to compete at an Olympics was Brett Steven in Atlanta in 1996.

The draws for the singles and doubles events will be held on 4 August. If there are two players/teams from the same country, they will be drawn into different halves of the draw. If there are three or four players from the same country they will be drawn into different quarters of the draw.

The men's doubles is held August 6-12 and the full tournament is August 6 -14.

- NZ Herald

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