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Venus beaten in Swiss doubles final

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 30/10/2016

A fifth ATP doubles title this year has evaded New Zealand's Michael Venus after losing in the final of the Swiss Indoors tournament in Basel.

Venus and Swedish partner Robert Lindstedt were beaten 6-3 6-4 by the fourth seeds, Marcel Granollers of Spain and American Jack Sock.

It ended a run which featured wins over the tournament third seeds and top seeds for Venus and Lindstedt, who had never previously played together.

The Spanish-American duo prevailed in exactly one hour, saving three of four break points faced. They claimed an initial break to love in the second game of the first set and another to open the second set.

It was 29-year-old Venus's ninth doubles final appearance of the year but his first at an ATP 500 event, which carries greater ranking points.

The top-ranked Kiwi is expected to climb significantly from his world ranking of 39th.

He will link with Lindstedt on a full-time basis next year, having tasted most of his success this year with Croatian Mate Pavic.

Venus hopes to lift his game to another level, starting with the ASB Classic in Auckland in January.

"This week showed the level we're capable of playing at. We just need to build consistently, which we'll strive for that next year," he said.

"It's been a phenomenal year but I'd have loved to do better in the grand slams. I still feel there's a lot of room for improvements."

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