Tokyo Olympics: New Zealand's Michael Venus, Marcus Daniell to play for tennis bronze after crushing semi-final defeat to Croatia

Kiwi doubles tennis pair Michael Venus and Marcus Daniell will play for a Olympic bronze medal, after being soundly beaten in their Games semi-final.

Facing the fourth-seeded Croatian pair of Mario Cilic and Ivan Dodig, the New Zealand duo couldn't find their quarter-final form, making 31 unforced errors in a 6-2 6-2 loss.

Venus and Daniell both struggled on serve, each holding just twice through the match, and committed seven double faults between them.

Cilic was powerful on serve, with four aces, but was superbly backed up by the world No.12 doubles player, Didig, who saved several breakpoints in the second set, when the Kiwis threatened a comeback.

Croatia won eight straight games, after the scores were tied 2-2 in the first, and despite a few second-set hiccups, they held their nerves to book a spot in Friday's final. 

"They're pumped and they should be," reflects Daniell. "They played an incredible match today, we didn't execute as well as we could have, but every small opportunity they had, they jumped on.

"We're incredibly disappointed. We were in the semis and we wanted to go all the way, but we're still here and we're not done yet."

Venus and Daniell will now play for the bronze medal against either Americans Austen Krajicek and Tennys Sandgren, or another Croatian pair in Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic.