'I wasn't out there too long!' Michael Venus aims to rebound in ASB Classic doubles after quick singles exit




Kiwi Michael Venus could glean only one positive from his 6-2 6-1 drubbing at the hands of Roberto Bautista Agut in Auckland's ASB Classic singles first round.

"I guess I wasn't out there too long," he said after yesterday's schooling.

The doubles specialist had little time to feel tired after spending just 56 minutes on court in his one-sided loss to the Spanish fifth seed.

With few answers for Bautista Agut's relentless power and accuracy, Venus took to the practice courts straight after the match to not only work on his serve, which had failed him, but perhaps also hit out some of his frustration.

He can't afford to dwell too long on the result as he prepares to line up with South African Raven Klaasen in the men's doubles opening round tonight.

The second-seeded pairing will take on fellow Kiwi Artem Sitak and his Dutch partner Wesley Koolhof on centre court, as Venus looks to redeem himself in front of his Auckland home crowd.

Venus is ranked No.15 in the world and won last year's French Open alongside American Ryan Harrison. Tuesday's match will be the first time he and Klaasen have played together.

The 30-year-old doesn't know what to expect and said the pairing will look to get to know each other's game and simply keep improving ahead of this month's Australian Open.

"New beginning are always exciting," he said.

"It's early on in the year, but I've got to just keep improving and finding ways to get better."

Other highlights on the Classic's centre court today will be Uruguayan sixth seed Pablo Cuevas' match against Guido Pella from Argentina and the all-American clash between world No.46 Steve Johnson and world No.44 Harrison.

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