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Kiwis eliminated from Classic doubles

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 13/01/2017 Angelo Risso
Marcus Daniell fell short of Saturday's ASB Classic decider after the loss in doubles semi-finals on Friday. © Phil Walter/Getty Images Marcus Daniell fell short of Saturday's ASB Classic decider after the loss in doubles semi-finals on Friday.

From an all-Kiwi doubles final to a no-Kiwi doubles final.

Both Artem Sitak and Marcus Daniell have fallen short of Saturday's ASB Classic decider after losses in their respective doubles semi-finals on Friday.

In the afternoon, the Russian-born Sitak and American partner Nicholas Monroe fell 6-4 6-4 to Scott Lipsky and Jonathan Erlich in a closely-fought affair.

Later in the evening, Daniell and Brazilian partner Marcelo Demoliner were also knocked out with a 6-4 6-4 defeat to Marcin Matkowski and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi.

The 27-year-old Daniell and Demoliner struggled to make their service games count in calm conditions, winning just half of all second-serve points.

They also lost more than 80 per cent of all points facing serve.

"Today we just got outplayed, those guys were hitting massive serves and massive returns, they only had a couple opportunities but they took them," Daniell said.

In Sitak's semi-final, both pairs struggled to break service games, winning less than a quarter of all return points and earning a combined three break points.

But it was Lipsky and Erlich who eventually came out on top, winning crucial breaks after protracted deuces in the first game and at 2-2 in the second set.

They then served out the match despite the efforts of Monroe, who dove left to hit a drop shot around the net in one of the shots of the tournament.

"We won the same amount of points, it's just one or two points here and there," Sitak said.

The two losses mean that Saturday's doubles final will be contested by the fourth-seeded Matkowski and Qureshi and unseeded Lipsky and Erlich.

Both Kiwis and their partners will now travel to Melbourne for a tilt at the Australian Open, before perhaps reuniting for next month's Davis Cup tie in India.

The doubles world No.60 Sitak felt his pairing's experiences in Auckland and last week's Chennai Open would do them a world of good.

"It was difficult to go back out there and bring the same emotional level and be really high and aggressive, we tried but I don't think we did a good job," Sitak said.

"We had last week a semi-final in Chennai, and this week semi-final here, (so) four good wins."

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