Kiwi Michael Venus and South African doubles partner Raven Klaasen have notched up one of their best wins of the year to reach the semi-finals at the ATP Masters 1000 tournament in Toronto.
They've avenged their Wimbledon final defeat by Jack Sock and Mike Bryan, beating the 4th seeds 7-6 (5) 6-4 in 1 hour 11. It was a classy performance from Venus and Klaasen who served superbly throughout, losing only two points on first serve and winning 80 percent of their points on second serve. Klaasen and Venus faced just two break points saving both in the match. They won 65 points to their opponents 52 in a performance more dominant than the score line suggests.
Their next assignment is the toughest task in men's doubles at the moment when they face top seeds and world number one ranked team Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic for a place in the final. The Austrian Croatian pair won the Australian Open in January after winning Auckland's ASB Classic and Doha International, and have won four titles in total to already book their place in the season ending ATP World Tour Finals in London.
But having beaten the fifth seeds and fourth seeds to get to the last four, Venus and Klaasen will fancy their chances of reaching a first ATP Masters 1000 final together. They have won 31 and lost 16 matches this year and are right on track to qualify for the year end Championships, projected to rise to 5th in the race, with the top eight teams qualifying for the finals at London's O2 Arena in November.
With Venus having semi-final points to defend next week at the Cincinnati Masters next week, the 30 year old has made big gains this week after losing in the first round in Montreal this time last year.
Meanwhile Venus will have Kiwi company in the doubles next week in Cincinnati. Artem Sitak and Greek singles star Stefanos Tsitsipas have been confirmed in the field. They were alternates this week in Toronto, and got in at the last minute when two teams pulled out.
However the cut for direct entries in Cincinnati is higher than in Toronto and Sitak has confirmed he is in for what will be his second main draw appearance at a Masters 1000 tournament. The draw for Cincinnati is out tomorrow.