Michael Venus' quest for a second ASB Classic doubles title has fallen short after going down in the men's doubles final alongside South African partner Raven Klaasen lost in Auckland on Saturday.
Venus and Klassen lost in straight sets to Queenstown-born Japanese player Ben McLachlan and Germany's Jan-Lennard Struff 6-3, 6-4.
In a fast-paced match, McLachlan and Struff wasted little time in their surge towards the title, winning the first set 6-3 in just 27 minutes.
Venus and Klaasen bounced back and held a 3-1 lead in the second set, but McLachlan and Struff were able to level the score at 4-4.
McLachlan and Struff went onto win the next two games to secure their second title as a doubles team.
Funnily enough, their first title together was at the Japan Open in Tokyo where they beat Venus and Klaasen 6-4, 7-5 in the final in October.
The loss was tough for Venus who was determined to win his second ASB Classic doubles title, his first coming in 2016 alongside Croatian Mate Pavic.
Venus and Klassen now head to the Australian Open Grand Slam where they'll be the sixth seeds with McLachlan and Struff the ninth seeds in Melbourne.