1 Jul 2016

NZ tennis team added for Rio Olympics

3:53 pm on 1 July 2016

The New Zealand men's tennis doubles combination of Michael Venus and Marcus Daniell has been selected for the Rio Olympics.

Michael Venus and Marcus Daniell during a doubles match against Pakistan in 2010

Michael Venus and Marcus Daniell during a doubles match against Pakistan. Photo: Photosport

The duo have met the qualifying standards as the highest ranked New Zealand players, based on ATP world rankings as of 6 June.

Venus, and Croatian doubles partner Mate Pavic, are currently ranked as the 16th seeds in the men's doubles at Wimbledon. They won their first round match overnight.

The last time a Kiwi male was seeded in doubles at Wimbledon was Brett Steven in 1998, where he was the ninth seed with American Patrick Galbraith.

Venus has won four ATP doubles titles with Pavic this year - Auckland, Montpellier, Marseille and s-Hertogenbosch and been a finalist once at Nice.

Marcus Daniell and fellow Kiwi Artem Sitak won the title at Stuttgart, Germany this year.

Other confirmed entries in the men's doubles include names such as Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka for Switzerland, the Murray brothers, Andy and Jamie for Britain and Novak Djokovic and Nenad Zimonjic (Serbia).

The last male to compete for New Zealand at an Olympic Games was Brett Steven in Atlanta in 1996.

Marina Erakovic competed at both the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Olympic Games.

New Zealand tennis player Marcus Daniell.

New Zealand tennis player Marcus Daniell. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

New Zealand tennis great Anthony Wilding won an Olympic bronze medal in tennis in Stockholm in 1912.

Tennis New Zealand CEO Steve Johns commended the players for their achievements.

"It's great for the players and for tennis in New Zealand to be represented at the Rio Olympics. It's also fantastic for each player and for their careers.

"Mike has consistently been ranked inside the top 50 players in the world and has won four ATP titles this year while Marcus has had a stellar year on the circuit winning a title as well.

Mr Johns said Tennis NZ was very proud of their achievements.

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