Kiwi tennis star Michael Venus faces an uphill battle to qualify for the semi-finals of the ATP World Tour Finals.
The doubles world No.10 and Australian partner John Peers have thrown away four match points to lose their second encounter in London, after dropping their opener earlier this week.
The trans-Tasman duo started superbly against Jurgen Melzer and Edouard Roger-Vasselin, cruising to a 6-2 first set win.
But despite dominating the stats sheet, Venus and Peers couldn't close out the match, losing 6-2, 6-7, 10-12.
Venus and Peers won 89 percent of points on their first serve, didn't give up a break across the entire match, won more games and more points, but a super-tiebreak lapse proved their downfall.
They had their first match point on Roger-Vasselin’s serve at 4-5 of the second set, but a good first serve by the Frenchman saw that chance go begging.
Down 9-6 in the quickfire final frame, the Austrian-French pair drew level, winning three straight points match points, which flustered the Antipodeans.
Venus had another shot at victory at 10-9, but Melzer scorched a return past the Kiwi to level the scores one more time.
The Austrian then held serve twice to set up a first match point for his team and when Venus fluffed an overhead smash into the net, the match was over.
Venus and Peers aren't mathematically out of contention, but would need to beat Mate Pavic and Bruno Soares in straight sets, and hope Melzer and Roger-Vasselin lose their final match against Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos by the same margin.
That would leave three teams on one win each, facing a countback on games won across the tournament to determine who qualifies.