New Zealand's top ranked doubles player Michael Venus is off to a superb start to the prestigious Indian Wells Masters in California.
Venus and his South African partner Raven Klaasen have beaten Australian Open runners-up Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah from Columbia 4-6, 6-0, 10-5 in 1 hr 17 to reach the second round.
Venus and Klaasen got off to a slow start and were both broken in their opening service games as the Colombians raced to a 3-0 lead in the first set, eventually taking it, 6-4.
It was one way traffic in the second set as Venus and Klaasen found their rhythm breaking three times to win it 6-0 and force a match tiebreak.
Venus and Klaasen quickly gained the ascendency and the Kiwi was prominent at 7-5 coming up with a sizzling forehand winner to extend to 8-5. Venus hit a forehand volley winner to bring up four match points at 9-5 and then forced an error off Cabal in the next point to clinch the match.
"It was a great match, the other guys started off really well so we had to make some adjustments. We did that and that played out well in the second set and we continued the momentum in the tiebreak, so it was a really pleasing day." Venus said.
Venus and Klaasen will face eighth seeds American Rajeev Ram and Croatian Ivan Dodig for a place in the quarter finals. Ram is Klaasen's former doubles partner.
Venus joins fellow Kiwi Marcus Daniell in the second round. Daniell and Argentine Diego Schwartzman will face the unseeded French pair of Adrian Mannarino and Fabrice Martin on Tuesday.
Both Kiwis have no points to defend this week and a good run at what is widely regarded as the unofficial fifth major in tennis, will earn them valuable ranking points and dollars.