Kiwi doubles tennis star Michael Venus could find himself watching his phone while in Shanghai this week, as he and fiance Sally Trafford are expecting their first child.

The London-based pair's first child was due later this week, and a deep run in the Shanghai Masters could leave Venus racing the clock to be home in time.

It's an important tournament for Venus and South African playing partner Raven Klaasen as they battle to secure their spot in the season ending ATP World Tour Finals in London next month.

The race for the eight spots in the field for London's 02 Arena could go down to the wire. Venus and Klaasen are currently seventh in the race but effectively sixth with Bob Bryan injured and not able to play with twin brother Mike Bryan who instead has qualified for the finals with Jack Sock after winning Wimbledon and the US Open together.

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The good news for Venus and Klaasen is the two teams immediately below them in the race for London, Nicola Mektic and Alexander Peya and Pierre Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut are not playing in Shanghai while Henri Kontinen and John Peers in 10th in the race have lost their second round match overnight.

Their campaign starts tonight against fellow Kiwi Ben McLachlan - who plays for Japan - and German Jan Lennard Struff. It's a repeat of last week's Japan Open final won by McLachlan and Struff in straight sets.

This evening's match against McLachlan and Struff is important, because that duo is 11th in the race and a big run in Shanghai could put them in touching distance of Klaasen and Venus. Throw in the uncertainty around Venus' playing schedule with him about to become a father and qualifying for London is not straightforward.

Venus is scheduled to have next week off before playing the ATP 500 tournament in Basel and the Paris Masters 1000, the final event before the World Tour Finals.

Last year, Venus and American Ryan Harrison made the semifinals in London after going through round robin group play unbeaten. It's a lucrative tournament to play in with team's receiving $154,370 just for participating, $58660 for each round robin win, $159,000 for winning a semi-final, $308,740 for winning the tournament and going through unbeaten $798,092.

Meanwhile the second Kiwi in the Shanghai field, Artem Sitak, has lost his second round doubles match with Indian partner Divij Sharan 6-3 6-4 to third seeds Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo.