Despite making the third round at the French Open and reaching five ATP 250 doubles finals together Kiwi Artem Sitak and his partner Wesley Koolhof are splitting.

And Sitak has revealed the Dutchman made the decision before Roland Garros to join forces with fellow Kiwi Marcus Daniell for the grass court season.

"A lot of people are surprised, but we didn't win any of those finals so maybe that was the reason to split up. I am looking forward to a new chapter playing with (Indian world No.41) Divij Sharan for the grass court season. Wesley and I are parting on a good note, third round of French Open was a good result, so good memories."

While it's disappointing for Sitak who felt he and Koolhof had developed into a formidable team, he understands the circumstances on a doubles circuit where change happens on a regular basis.


"We didn't win any of the ATP events and my philosophy is you don't win because you stay, you stay because you win," Sitak said.

While Daniell joining forces with Koolhof will raise some eyebrows, both Kiwis have pointed out there is nothing sinister in the move.

Daniell had been achieving some great results with Britain's Dominic Inglot but a stint on the sidelines through injury has resulted in Inglot ending their partnership. Daniell's lingering wrist problem forced Inglot to find a different partner for the clay court season and he promptly captured the ATP title in Budapest with Hungarian Franko Skugor in late April and the next week he won in Istanbul with Robert Lindstedt. Inglot contacted Daniell afterwards to say he wanted some certainty for the grass court season and wasn't sure Daniell would be 100 percent fit so made the call to change. Daniell has confirmed his wrist has recovered and he is hitting balls again with a view to playing qualifying in Halle or Queens with Koolhof in the lead up to Wimbledon.

The world number 36 ranked Kiwi found himself without a partner so put some feelers out that he was looking for a new partner for the grass court season and points out it was Koolhof's coach who got in touch. At first the Kiwi was hesitant given he didn't want to upset Sitak. Sitak backs up Daniell's story and has no animosity towards his Davis Cup teammate.

In 2016 Daniell decided to split from Sitak to join forces with American Brian Baker for Wimbledon. Ironically after the decision Daniell and Sitak went on to win ATP doubles title together in Stuttgart before they split.

Sitak wasn't happy at the time but insists this time it is different.

"What happened with Marcus back in the day, he apologised for that and made a mistake back then, it was bad judgement on his part. Right now it's how it is, Marcus didn't do anything wrong this time, he had no partner, somebody approached him and you are not going to say no to a good player, so I am totally fine with Marcus," Sitak said.

Sitak is looking forward to starting his partnership with Sharan who is an unorthodox player, but rated highly among his peers on the circuit.


Sitak says Sharan is a very good volleyer and he believes the pair can do some real damage in the grass court season over the next few weeks.

Sitak could well start his campaign at Hertgotenbosch in the Netherlands next week with a career high doubles ranking of 38.

Meanwhile New Zealand's Erin Routliffe has won through to the main draw at the US $25,000 ITF tournament in Hua Hin in Thailand.

Routliffe has beaten Indian Ramya Natarajan 6-4 6-3 in the final round of qualifying. The 23 year old Kiwi will face 19 year old Australian Alexandra Bozovic in the first round who has a WTA ranking of 446. Routliffe is ranked 646.