Kiwi doubles ace Michael Venus and his South African partner Raven Klaasen have lost a titanic struggle against third seeds Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo in the quarter finals of the Shanghai Masters.
Venus and Klaasen have gone down 7-6 (3) 4-6 10- 7 in 1 hour 47. It's their third close loss to Kubot and Melo in four matches this year.
Klaasen dropped all four of his service points in the match tie break and that proved the difference.
The result mean Venus will now race home to his base in London to try to make the birth of his first child. His fiancée Sally is due to give birth tomorrow and Venus is hoping the baby will be late.
The first set could have gone either way with a break a piece before the tie break which the third seeds won comfortably. But Venus and Klaasen hit back with an early break of serve in the second set. They saved three break points on serve to win the set and take the match to a first to 10 point match tie break.
Despite the defeat Venus and Klaasen can be well satisfied with their efforts in the Asian swing. A quarter final result in Shanghai and the runner up finish in Tokyo has enhanced their chances of qualifying for the season ending ATP World Tour Finals in London.
They are 7th in the race, effectively 6th with Bob Bryan ahead of them out injured. The top eight teams after next month's Paris Masters qualify for the lucrative finals at London's O2 Arena.
Meanwhile 19 year old Kiwi Ajeet Rai has cruised into the singles final at the ITF US $15,000 Futures tournament in Hua Hin in Thailand.
The Taranaki teenager has beaten Slovenian qualifier Martin Spec 6-3 6-3. The win will see Rai improve 123 spots to 911 on the live rankings. Victory in the final will see the Kiwi climb into the top 900 for the first time.
Rai will face 19 year old Indian Manish Sureshkumar for the title. The second seed is ranked 565.
Rai is also into the doubles final in Hua Hin with Indian partner Karunuday Singh.