Oust from the ASB Classic doubles semifinals, New Zealand's Michael Venus and South African partner Raven Klaasen are philosophical as they prepare to take their new partnership to the Australian Open.
Venus and Klaasen played one previous futures tournament some six years ago. Resuming their combination in Auckland this week, they clicked early to win two matches, only to fall to ninth seeds Max Mirnyi and Philipp Oswald 7-6 (7) 7-6 (6) in one hour 36 minutes.
It was a match that swung on a couple of points, Mirnyi and Oswald taking their chances in the tie breakers.
Venus, who lost in the singles first round, and Klaasen saved two break points in the first tie breaker but still dropped the set. They also had two set points in the second but one special lob shot proved telling.
Two years ago Venus, world No 15 in doubles, clinched the Classic doubles title with Croatian Mate Pavic, and the Kiwi also went on to win last year's French Open alongside American Ryan Harrison.
But he couldn't repeat that success here.
"We'd love to have been in the finals but they played well," Venus said. We had set points there in the second set and had a couple of break points in the first too. If you get those it could be a completely different match but they may have felt the same about some of the other points.
"We tried to make some adjustments where we could. I could have done a few things better but it's never going to be perfect every day. We worked well and gave it everything."
Given the new nature of the partnership, Klaasen was positive about their chances for the rest of the season.
"What got what we needed here," he said. "It would have been nice to win today and get another go but we've learnt a lot about each other and seemed to click pretty good.
"We'll watch some tape see what we need to be sharper at and hopefully be tougher to beat next time."