New Zealand's top ranked doubles player Michael Venus has suffered an injury scare to kick off his clay court tennis campaign.

The 2017 French Open champion has rolled his ankle in his first round match at the ATP 250 tournament in Marrakech in Morocco.

Venus and German Tim Puetz were the third seeds and they took the first set 6-3 against Italian Simone Bolelli and Tunisia's Malek Jaziri, but were trailing 4-1 in the second when Venus pulled the pin. It's unclear how serious his injury is.

He is scheduled to meet up with regular doubles partner South African Raven Klaasen for next week's Monte Carlo Masters.


The pair are ranked 14 in the world but have struggled for consistency since reaching the Australian Open quarter finals in January.

Meanwhile, Artem Sitak and his American partner Austin Krajicek have won through to the quarter-finals at the ATP 250 tournament in Houston.

The second seeds won a tight first round match against Australian's Lleyton Hewitt and Jordan Thompson 6-2, 4-6, 10-8 in one hour and 17 minutes.

Playing the green clay before the head to Europe for next week's Monte Carlo Masters, Sitak and Krajicek made a dominant start with two breaks of serve in the first set, but dropped serve early in the second and it went to a match tie break.

The first to 10 point breaker was tight throughout but Sitak and Krajicek were able to convert their first match point.