Australian Open 2021: Kiwi doubles ace Marcus Daniell rallies to book third-round spot

Kiwi doubles ace Marcus Daniell has battled his way through to third round of the Australian Open with a tough three-set victory. 

Daniell and Austrian partner Phillip Oswald split the first two sets with American Tennys Sandgren and German Dominik Koepfer, before powering away to win 7-6 6-7 6-2 in 2h 6m. 

Daniell and Oswald made the worst possible start, when the Austrian dropped his opening service game, and while they had opportunities to break back, they had to wait until Sandgren had a shocker on serve to get back into the set. 

At 5-5, they had two break points in Kuepfer’s service game, but couldn’t convert. Daniell then saved a set point on serve to force a tiebreak, which they won 7-4. 

The second set was tight all the way to the tiebreak, with no break points for either team, but Koepfer and Sandgren capitalised on a couple of errors to level things up. 

Daniell and Oswald took control early in the deciding set, breaking Koepfer first and then Sandgren to run away with the match. 

The key to the Kiwi and Austrian duo's success was their serve, with an incredible 79 percent first-serve percentage. The pair smashed 27 winners and saved two of the three break points they faced.

The world No.45 joins compatriot Mike Venus in the third round, and will play either Americans Nicholas Monroe and Francis Tiafoe or Canadians Vasak Pospisil and Denis Shapovalov for a spot in the quarter-finals for the second time in his career.  

Intriguingly, if Venus and Daniell are successful in their next matches, they will face off in the last eight.