New Zealand's top-ranked doubles player Michael Venus and his South African partner Raven Klaasen have just failed in their quest to reach the semi finals at the ATP World Tour Finals in London.
The sixth seeds have been beaten 6-3 7-6 (5) by the second-seeded Colombian pair of Robert Farah and Juan Sebastian Cabal in 1 hour 24.
The defeat ends Venus and Klaasen's impressive first season together in which they reached the Wimbledon final, won one title in Marseille in February but reached three other finals including their first ATP Masters 1000 final together in Toronto.
Venus and Klaasen got off to the worst possible start today after Venus held serve, Klaasen was broken in his opening service game and the Colombians served impeccably in the first set, dropping just three points on serve. Serving to stay in the set at 3-5 Venus was broken and Farah and Cabal clinched the opener 6-3.
Venus and Klaasen who had beaten their opponents twice this year, hit back at the start of the second set with an early break. But the Kiwi served a poor game when leading 3-2 and handed the break back. The set and match was decided in a tie-break which Farah and Cabal clinched 7-5 on their fourth match point to secure their place in the semi finals along with Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares from their group.
Venus and Klaasen earned a share of $100,000 USD just for qualifying for the ATP Finals and they got another $38,000 USD for their win in their second group match. The Kiwi ends his season with around $600,000 USD in prize money and is ranked 12th in the ATP doubles rankings, one place behind his partner.
Venus and Klaasen have confirmed they will continue their partnership in 2019 and will again be in action at Auckland's ASB Classic in January.