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Tough opener for NZer in US doubles

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 31/08/2016

In tandem with Pavic, Venus has accumulated four ATP doubles titles so far this year. © Cameron Spencer/Getty Images In tandem with Pavic, Venus has accumulated four ATP doubles titles so far this year. Kiwi doubles specialist Michael Venus and Croatian partner Mate Pavic face a tough opening round match at the US Open on Thursday.

The pair have drawn Julio Peralta of Chile and Argentina's Horacio Zeballos, a combination they lost to in the final of the Swiss Open two months ago in Gstaad.

"It's the last grand slam of the year so we want to do well," Venus said.

"But we know it's going to be a tough challenge first up. We'll need to just get out there and do the things that have been working for us throughout this year."

Venus and compatriot Marcus Daniell lost their opening round match at the Rio Olympics last month, beaten 4-6 6-3 7-6 by Canadian seventh seeds Daniel Nestor and Vasek Pospisil.

But in tandem with Pavic, Venus has accumulated four ATP doubles titles so far this year.

The pair also lost a five-hour third-round marathon at Wimbledon 6-3 7-6 4-6 4-6 16-14 to third seeds Jamie Murray of Scotland and Bruno Soares (Brazil).

Two other New Zealand doubles teams are in action on Thursday: Daniell and American Brian Baker take on Malek Jaziri (Tunisia) and Hans Podlipnik-Castillo (Chile) while Marina Erakovic teams with Spaniard Arantxa Parra Santonja against Serbian Aleksandra Krunic and Andreea Mitu of Romania.

The other New Zealander in the doubles draw, Artem Sitak and partner Robin Haase of the Netherlands, play their first round match on Friday (NZT).

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