11 Jul 2018

Venus makes Wimbledon semifinal

11:47 am on 11 July 2018

New Zealand tennis player Michael Venus has won through to the semifinals of the men's doubles at Wimbledon.

Michael Venus.

Michael Venus. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Venus and his South African partner Raven Klaasen beat the fifth seeds Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares in five sets on centre court on Wednesday (NZ time).

They'll meet Frederik Nielsen of Denmark and Joe Salisbury of Britain in the last four.

Venus is the first New Zealander to make a doubles semifinal at Wimbledon since Marina Erakovic in 2011.

Venus said he was able to draw upon his experience at winning last year's French Open during he and Klaasen's 6-7 7-6 5-7 7-6 6-4 win in a match that lasted four hours and 15 minutes.

"It definitely helped me out there today playing on that court and in that environment.

"I felt like I really enjoyed my time on the court and it was a good feeling to have, because then I was able to relax and just play tennis.

"It has helped, but this is a different tournament and everyone's playing well at this point, so that's in the past and it's great to have those memories, but I've got to focus on what's happening now."

The players were off court for around 15 minutes between the fourth and fifth set while the roof closed and it was Venus and Klaasen who came back the stronger, getting out to a 5-2 lead and even having two match points in the following game.

Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus.

Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

However, the match was eventually won when Soares was broken to love when serving at 4-5.

"It wasn't as long as I thought it would be to close the roof, it closed pretty quick," Venus said.

""We spoke about things we felt had been working and what we could do better, also the tendencies of what they were doing and what they might be doing.

"So we came up with things we wanted to execute and we managed to pull through."

A crowd of around 10,000 watched the match and although most of them wanted Murray and Soares to win, they enjoyed a thrilling, high quality doubles match.

"It was good to see how many people stayed," Venus said.

"Maybe it would be nice to have a few more people cheering for us, but I think that's what happens when you play at home.

"But there were a few Kiwis there and you could hear them cheering and our box was great."

Earlier, fellow Kiwi player Artem Sitak and Indian partner Divij Sharan lost their quarterfinal match to Jack Sock and Mike Bryan 7-6 7-6 6-7 6-4, while New Zealand junior Lulu Sun lost to Xinyu Wang 7-6 6-3.