Tokyo Olympics: Kiwi doubles aces Michael Venus, Marcus Daniell named to represent New Zealand at Games

  • 24/06/2021

Michael Venus and Marcus Daniell have been named as New Zealand's tennis contingent for next month's Tokyo Olympics.

The doubles specialists will team up on the court in Japan for a second consecutive Olympics, after competing at Rio 2016.

World No. 16 Venus has 14 ATP doubles titles to his name, highlighted by his 2017 French Open triumph, while Daniell has five career titles.

Both players - conditionally selected, pending NZOC receiving a quota for the event - are coming off strong form on the European circuit, reaching the knockout stages at the ATP 500 tournament in Germany with their respective partners last week.

At Rio, the duo lost an epic first-round doubles match 4-6 6-3 7-6 (8) to eventual Canadian silver medallists Daniel Nestor and Vasek Pospisil. 

"It's amazing," says Daniell. "We found Rio to be an incredible experience and since then have been eager to get back to the Olympics.

"To be named is huge and I am looking forward to it. Mike has obviously been playing extremely well for some time now and I think we can do some damage."

Although Daniell and Venus don't play together on the ATP circuit, they have a strong understanding of each other's games, teaming up earlier this year to reach the quarter-finals at the Adelaide International and playing many Davis Cup ties together.

"We have played a bunch together and have spent quite a bit of time on the practice courts together," says Venus.

"We've also played against each other in different tournaments, so we know what we both like to do, and from the matches we have had, we complement each other well."

Beginning July 24, the 32-strong doubles draw for Tokyo means pairs will need to win five matches to earn gold.