A setback for Michael Venus and Tim Puetz in quest to qualify for Tour finals
Michael Venus and his German partner Tim Puetz have suffered a big setback in their bid to qualify for the ATP World Tour finals in Turin next month. The second seeds have suffered a straight sets defeat in their first-round doubles match at the ATP 500 tournament in Basel.
Venus and Puetz will be wondering how the match against Hugo Nys and Jan Zielinski slipped away. They squandered a couple of first set points on Puetz’s serve and Venus was broken when serving to stay in the set and again in the second set when serving to take the match into a tie break. The final score was 7-5 7-5 in an hour and 32 minutes.
Venus and Puetz remain eighth in the race to secure a spot in Turin for the time being. Only one pair can overtake them this week, Croatian Ivan Dodig and American Austin Krajicek who are through to the quarters in Basel. They would need to make the final to edge ahead of the Kiwi/German combination.
Regardless the final four spots in the elite eight team field will be decided at next week’s Paris Masters where on paper at least 7 teams could qualify.
Meanwhile Artem Sitak and his American partner Alex Lawson have had a 6-2 6-4 win in the first round of the doubles over American wildcards Thomas Navarro and Jack Atherton at the San Diego Challenger.
Rubin Statham and Ajeet Rai are both into the second round of the singles at the Playford Challenger in South Australia. Statham defeated Aussie Li Tu who is ranked 190 in the world 6-4 6-4 and Rai battled to a 2-6,6-3,7-5 win over another Aussie Adam Walton. (ranked 465)