Tennis: Top Kiwi doubles player will have to find a different partner for Wimbledon

By Matt Brown

Michael Venus in action at the  Millennium Estoril Open. Photo / Getty
Michael Venus in action at the Millennium Estoril Open. Photo / Getty

He's just won the 6th ATP doubles title of his career with a new partner but Kiwi Michael Venus won't be playing with American Ryan Harrison at Wimbledon.

Venus and Harrison have beaten Spaniards' David Marrero and Tommy Robredo 7-5, 6-2 to win the Estoril Open in Portugal.

The Kiwi-American duo grabbed the crucial break at 6-5 to take the opening set and then broke twice in the second set to clinch the title in 59 minutes. Venus had endured a wretched run of form so far this season culminating in his split from Swedish partner Robert Lindstedt.

He turned to Harrison for the clay court swing. The American is a top 100 singles player whom he has known for a decade and was a groomsman at his wedding earlier this year.

They are committed to playing the French Open together starting later this month, but Harrison, ranked 52 in singles, has decided not to play doubles at Wimbledon.

"Singles is the priority for him and after the French Open he goes home for a week and is not playing all the grass court tournaments. With Wimbledon being the best of five sets in the doubles he does not want to play doubles there because it would be a bit taxing on his body for singles." Venus said.

However, he says further down the track they will definitely play more tournaments together.

Venus and Harrison earn 250 ranking points and share €26,110 in prize money for winning Estoril. The result is likely to lift Venus five places to 36 in the rankings when they come out later today.

Venus will play at the Aix en Provence Challenger in France week where he will team with Australian John Patrick Smith. Fellow Kiwis Marcus Daniell and Artem Sitak are also at the tournament.

Venus is holding out hope he might get to play next week's big Rome Masters.

"I have sent out a few messages to some of the other guys to see what their plans are and what they are thinking for Rome and we will just see what happens."

Venus and Harrison are entered into the Geneva ATP tournament for another hit out together before Roland Garros which begins on May the 28th.

- NZ Herald

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