Michael Venus Wins in Doubles at French Open

Aucklander Michael Venus (pictured right) and American Ryan Harrison have claimed their first grand slam title beating Mexican Santiago Gonzalez and American Donald Young 7-6(5) 6-7(4) 6-3 in the French Open men’s doubles final.

After two fiercely contested opening sets between the two unseeded pairs, Venus and Harrison broke decisively for 5-3 and held serve to prevail on Court Philippe Chatrier.

It was the pair’s first major final; Harrison having never reached the last four in a grand slam while his partner had never even been in a quarterfinal.

“Ryan, thanks for playing. I am not very good at this,” said the 29-year-old Venus, who became New Zealand’s first male grand slam winner since Onny Parun teamed up with Australia’s Dick Crealy to win the 1974 French Open.

“To all the people back home, I got lots of messages and support. To all my family watching, my mum is here watching, I wouldn’t be here without you.”

Florida-based Venus and Harrison teamed up ahead of the clay-court season earlier this year and won their first ATP tournament in Estoril last month.

Venus next teams with veteran Brazilian Andre Sa for the grass court tournaments leading up to Wimbledon.

Original article by Reuters, Channel News Asia, June 11, 2017.

Photo by AP.

Tags: Auckland  Channel News Asia  French Open  Michael Venus  Onny Parun  Ryan Harrison  tennis  

You Can’t Stop Sonny Bill Williams From Shining

You Can’t Stop Sonny Bill Williams From Shining

A star in rugby union and league, and now a professional boxer, Auckland-born Bill Williams, 36, reveals his inner torments and tells The Guardian’s Donald McRae what drives him on. “I get pretty emotional…