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Venus breaks doubles drought in France

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 30/05/2017
A file photo of Michael Venus at the 2015 Heineken Open Classic at Auckland Tennis Centre © Getty A file photo of Michael Venus at the 2015 Heineken Open Classic at Auckland Tennis Centre

New Zealander Michael Venus has opened his account at the French Open with a hard-fought doubles win.

Venus and American partner Ryan Harrison battled back from a set down to beat Argentine Diego Schwartzman and Francis Tiafoe (United States) 3-6 6-4 6-4 in one hour 11 minutes to reach the second round.

Harrison and Venus started poorly, going down a break early and losing the first set in 27 minutes.

But they gradually took control and secured a break in each of the next two sets to take the match.

"I am really happy - it was definitely a dicey start." Venus said.

"But we managed to get over the hurdle and got a bit of momentum in the second set, started to play a bit better and settled into our game."

Venus had not won a set in three previous appearances at Roland Garros, and after the sluggish start the drought seemed set to continue.

But the Kiwi No.1 says they were able to gain a foothold in the match early in the second set.

"It was just execution," he said.

"We were giving too many free points away but I have to give credit to them, they also played some great shots.

"We changed some of our tactics and it worked well in the end."

Venus and Harrison could potentially face the fourth seeds Lukas Kubot (Poland) and Brazilian Marcelo Melo in round two.

Fellow New Zealanders Marcus Daniell and Artem Sitak open their campaigns overnight.

Daniell and Brazilian partner Marcelo Demoliner play the seventh seeds, Croatian Ivan Dodig and Spaniard Marcel Granollers while Sitak and American partner Nicholas Monroe open against the 12th seeds, Marcin Matkowski (Poland) and Eduard Roger Vasselin (France).

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