A successful start to the Australian Open for Michael Venus, Marcus Daniell and Artem Sitak as all three of the New Zealand men's doubles players scored straight set victories with their respective partners.
Sitak and American Nicholas Monroe beat the combination of James Cerretani (USA) and Philipp Oswald (Austria) in their first round clash 6-3 7-5 while Daniell and Brazilian partner Marcelo Demoliner defeated Guillermo Duran (Argentina) and Joao Sousa (Portugal) 7-6(2) 6-4.
"It was a very solid win, when knew our opponents well and we stuck to the game plan against them. I think it was very solid doubles by us and it was a good performance," said Sitak.
Daniell was happy to win so that he now has a record of passing the first round at all four of the Grand Slams.
"It's the first time I've actually won a round here so it feels really good. We knew exactly what we were up against having played them a week ago (in Auckland also in the first round). We made it a little bit hard for ourselves in the first set we were up in the first set but we didn't stay on top of them and they fought back. But we got the win and that's what counts," said Daniell who is happy to see his countrymen also win their first rounds. "It's the second Slam in a row that the all three Kiwi combos have come through the first round it was in the US Open last year as well. Ideally all of us will go really deep into a Slam and it will generate publicity and a groundswell of support for the sport in New Zealand. That's one of my aims at a Grand Slam."
Venus and Robert Lindstedt (Sweden), a former winner of the doubles title in Melbourne in 2014 scored a 7-6(6) 7-6(2) over the German team of Andre Begemann and Jan-Lennard Struff on what Venus called quick courts.
"The courts are playing pretty fast at the moment, so if you can hold your serve you know you're going to do well. It's good to get the win and now it's back to the practice court and take a look at our opponents for the next round."
It is likely the Kiwi combinations will now face seeded teams in the second round.