Kiwi doubles tennis star Michael Venus will avoid a Christmas quarantine, after securing an earlier-than-expected flight home to New Zealand.
Venus faced spending Christmas Day away from pregnant wife Sally and young daughter Lila, after choosing to play in the prestigious ATP Tour Finals in London to keep his Olympic dream alive.
If Venus withdrew from the tournament, his ranking would have plummeted, making it difficult to qualify for the Tokyo Games.
The 33-year-old was initially scheduled to return to New Zealand on December 13, but Venus has secured a flight home on November 23.
"I've been on the website all week, just hitting refresh constantly, and one popped up for the 23rd, so I managed to grab that and got a flight confirmed," Venus has told Newshub.
The news came hours after Venus and doubles partner John Peers were eliminated from the ATP Finals, losing their final group match to top seeds Mate Pavic and Bruno Soares 6-7(2) 6-3 10-8 in just under 90 minutes.
"If we'd won, I wouldn't have made it, so I guess there is a positive side to losing today," says Venus.
"When I wasn't on the court, coming home was at the front of my find. I was trying to do anything possible to get back.
"I was able to push it to the back of my mind on the court."
Earlier this month, Venus criticised the managed isolation and quarantine system, after attempts to swap his quarantine voucher were continually shut down.
The early return will also help with Venus' preparations for January's Australian Open, with England currently in lockdown.
Despite suffering a first round exit at the ATP Finals, Venus and Peers won titles in Dubai, Hamburg and Antwerp in their first year as a doubles pair.