The New Zealand tennis player Michael Venus and his South African partner Raven Klaasen have been beaten in their opening doubles match at the ATP World Tour finals in London.
The 6th seeds at the elite season ending tournament featuring the top 8 teams on tour this year, have been beaten 7-6, (5) 4-6, 10-5 by 4th seeds Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares.
As the score suggests it was a tight match throughout and Venus and Klaasen will be kicking themselves because they had numerous opportunities to take control. They converted just 3 of 9 break point chances in the match with their opponents winning 2 of 5 but playing the tie breakers better.
The round robin format means Venus and Klaasen are still very much in the running to make the semi-finals. They have two more matches against 2nd seeds Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah of Colombia, and 7th seeded Croatian Nikola Mektic and Austrian Alexander Peya.
The top two teams in each group advance to the semi-finals.
Last year Venus and American Ryan Harrison won their three round robin matches before losing in the semi-finals.
It's a lucrative end to the season for Venus who has so far earned $543,000 US dollars in prize money after reaching the Wimbledon final and final of the Toronto Masters 1000 tournament.
Each pair earn $100,000 USD as an appearance fee in London with $38,000 US for each round robin win. A semi-final match win would earn $103,000USD and winning the final $200,000.