Australian Open 2019: Marcus Daniell sets up Michael Venus doubles clash

 Marcus Daniell and Wesley Koolhof.
Marcus Daniell and Wesley Koolhof. Photo credit: AAP

Kiwi doubles star Marcus Daniell has set up a second-round clash against compatriot Michael Venus at the Australian Open in Melbourne on Saturday.

Daniell and Dutch partner Wesley Koolhof, who won the Brisbane International earlier this month, fought back from a set down to beat Australian pairing Lleyton Hewitt and John Patrick Smith 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 on court seven.

They now meet Venus and South African partner Raven Klaasen, who lost the ASB Classic final last Sunday.

Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus.
Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus. Photo credit: Photosport

Daniell and Koolhof got off to a sluggish start, and their Aussie opponents had them under pressure on serve, converting one of their four breakpoint chances. Daniell and Koolhof never got a lock on Hewitt and Smith’s serve in the opening set.

But it was a different story in the second set, as Daniell and Koolhof stepped up their serving, and converted two of four break-point chances to level the match.

After Smith and Koolhof held serve to start the deciding set, Hewitt was broken in his opening service game. Daniell was taken to deuce in his next game, but held to consolidate the break, and he and Koolhof went on to complete the win in 1h 38m.

Meanwhile, fellow New Zealander Artem Sitak is back on court on Friday afternoon, with American doubles partner Austin Krajicek, for their second-round match against Americans Ryan Harrison and Sam Querrey.

Valentina Ivanov, the winner of last month's New Zealand Championships, has won her second-round qualifying match to make the main draw at the Australian Junior Open.

The 17-year-old Kiwi has beaten Russian third seed in qualifying Polina Kudermetova 1-6, 6-1, 6-4.

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