14 Jan 2020

Paire advances at ASB Classic as kiwi Venus dumped out

7:48 am on 14 January 2020

Frenchman Benoit Paire and Italian teenager Jannik Sinner produced the match of the day at Auckland's ASB Tennis Classic while the singles tournament is over for New Zealand's Michael Venus.

French tennis player Benoit Paire.

French tennis player Benoit Paire. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The fifth seed Paire beat 18-year-old Sinner in three sets and he'll play Brazilian qualifier Thiago Monteiro in the second round.

In the first set the world No. 24 was unstoppable on serve - not offering up a single break point chance.

In the second set Sinner found his form forcing Paire to defend 11 break point chances. Sinner was able to break Paire three times to take the second set 6-2.

The 30-year old Frenchman recovered from two code violations and broke Sinner early in the final set. Both players produced stunning rallies in the third set with Sinner threatening to break Paire's serve in the eight game of the set. However, Paire survived the challenge of his 18-year old opponent easing a backhand into the open court on match point to advance.

In last night's final match with Swedish qualifier Mikael Ymer upset American Francis Tiafoe.

Defending champion American Tennys Sandgren dumped New Zealand wildcard Venus out of the singles with a straight sets win.

Brazilian qualifier Thiego Monteiro was in top form springing an upset over 2019 finalist Cameron Norrie of Great Britain 7-6 (3) 6-2.

In a battle of the young guns on tour Frenchman Ugo Humbert outlasted Norway's Casper Ruud 7-6 (3) 2-6 6-3 on Grandstand. Both players were facing off for the first time and they pushed each hard in the 2 hour and 18-minute battle.

However, the 21-year old Humbert was able to win more free points on serve hitting 13 aces and saving all the break points he faced in the deciding set.

Two more young players battled it out under lights with Francis Tiafoe against Qualifier Mikhail Ymer.

Despite Big Foe being ranked higher it was Ymer looked more composed and match ready after coming through qualifying.

The Swede won the tightly contested match 6-4 5-7 6-1.