McLachlan outdoes Venus in clash of Kiwi doubles players

Ben McLachlan of Japan and Raven Klassen of South Africa celebrate winning the doubles final match against Michael Venus of New Zealand and Neal Skupski of Great Britain Citi Open. Photo: Getty Images
Ben McLachlan of Japan and Raven Klassen of South Africa celebrate winning the doubles final match against Michael Venus of New Zealand and Neal Skupski of Great Britain Citi Open. Photo: Getty Images
New Zealand Olympic bronze medallist Michael Venus and British partner Neal Skupski lost a tight doubles final at the ATP 500 tournament in Washington, DC yesterday.

They were beaten 7-6, 6-4 by Venus’ former partner, South African Raven Klaasen, and New Zealand-born Ben McLachlan, who hails from Queenstown but represents Japan.

It was certainly a match that got away from the second seeds.

Venus and Skupski were up a break in the first set but could not close it out.

They converted just one of nine break-point chances with Klaasen and McLachlan converting twice from five chances.

McLachlan, who has now won seven ATP doubles titles, said he was thrilled with the win.

Venus will now travel to Toronto for the ATP Masters 1000 tournament, reuniting with new regular partner Tim Puetz, of Germany.

They are the seventh seeds and have been drawn against the Belgian pair of Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen in the first round.

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