Michael Burgess is a sports writer for the Herald on Sunday.

Artem Sitak advances in late night Kiwi doubles clash

Artem Sitak and Nicholas Munroe during the ASB Classic. Photo / AP
Artem Sitak and Nicholas Munroe during the ASB Classic. Photo / AP

There was joy and heartbreak in equal measure for New Zealand doubles players at the ASB Classic on Wednesday night.

Kiwi Artem Sitak, playing alongside American Nicholas Monroe, progressed to the quarter finals of the ASB Classic doubles at the expense of fellow New Zealander Michael Venus and Swede Robert Lindstedt

Sitak and Monroe won 6-3 4-6 10-8 in a thrilling contest, enjoyed by a large contingent of hardy fans who remained until the conclusion of the match at 11:45pm.

Venus and Lindstedt looked to have the momentum going into the tiebreak, having taken the second set.

They led throughout the super tiebreak - at one stage by 7-4 - but Sitak improbably won six of the last seven points to take the match.

"We just stayed focused, stayed in the match," said Sitak. "Things can change so fast in doubles and you just have to hang in there.

We served well, we stayed solid on our returns and we were enjoying ourselves out on court."

It was a tough defeat for Venus, who won the title so brilliantly alongside Mate Pavic last year. Venus was solid most of the night, though missed a couple of crucial volleys late in the tie break.

Monroe and Sitak play the Argentinean combination of Facundo Bagnis and Diego Schwartzman in an afternoon match on Thursday. Marcus Daniell and Marcelo Demoliner (Brazil) face Leander Paes and Andre Sa in the night session.

- NZ Herald

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