Tokyo Olympics: Michael Venus, Marcus Daniell snatch first NZ tennis medal in more than a century

Doubles specialists Michael Venus and Marcus Daniell have battled back from semi-final disappointment to secure New Zealand's first Olympic tennis medal in more than a century at Tokyo.

Wiped off the court by a rampant Croatian pair the previous night, the Kiwis have rebounded with a much more determined performance to take the bronze medal, with a 7-6 6-2 victory over Americans Austin Krajicek and Tenys Sandgren.

Neither pair could break service in the opening set, although Venus and Daniell had three opportunities, without allowing their rivals any. They jumped ahead early in the tiebreak, which they won 7-3.

That momentum carried into the second set, when the Kiwis broke Sandgren's first service game for a 3-0 advantage.

The Americans exerted tremendous pressure on Venus' next serve, forcing three breakpoints, but the NZ pair battled through that crisis to hold for a 4-1 edge and broke Krajicek again to seal the win.

The all-Croatian doubles final will see Marin Cilic and Ivan Dodig take on Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic for the gold medal later on Friday.

Technically, this is New Zealand's first Olympic tennis medal. Previously, Kiwi Anthony Wilding claimed singles bronze at Stockholm 1912, but as a member of the combined Australasia team.

"I'm still in shock," Daniell told Sky Sport. "I've been crying for the last 20 minutes and Mike's been laughing at me.

"I'ts absolutely incredible to bring home a medal for New Zealand in tennis.

"Yesterday was a bit disappointing, we didn't get a foot in the door, but we went back out on court and practiced some things we thought we could have done better.

"We really knuckled down on what we thought could get us some cheap points and it worked tonight."