Venus and Puetz storm into Indian Wells semi finals
New Zealand’s top ranked doubles player Michael Venus and his German partner Tim Puetz have produced another stunning performance to reach the semi-finals at the prestigious Indian Wells Masters in California.
The unseeded pair have backed up their win over US Open champions and second seeds Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram on Tuesday, by beating 5th seeds Horia Tecau and Kevin Krawietz 6-4 6-2 to reach the semi-finals of a tournament dubbed the unofficial fifth major.
Venus and Puetz played superbly throughout and faced just one break point against their serve in the opening set in the 6th game. The very next game they had Krawietz who played doubles with Puetz for Germany at the Olympics, in trouble at 15-40. He saved the first two break points, but his Olympic partner rifled a return of service winner down to line to break on the deciding point for 4-3. Venus and Puetz went on to take the set in 40 minutes.
They started strongly in the second set and broke Tecau for a 2-1 lead before Venus had the break back in his next service game. But some scintillating returning saw the Kiwi/German combination regain the initiative in the next game, breaking Krawietz to love. They were able to consolidate by holding serve in the next game before breaking Tecau again and leaving Venus to close out the match for a memorable win in 1 hour and 12 minutes.
Venus and Puetz who have already won one title together this year, ironically over Krawietz and Tecau in the final of the ATP500 tournament in Hamburg after Wimbledon, are quickly developing into a formidable team despite a disruptive season, caused by the Olympics and Puetz suffering a side strain which forced them out of the US Open in the second round.
They will face either Russian’s Andrey Rublev and Aslan Karatsev or Indian Rohan Bopanna and Canadian Denis Shapovalov for a place in the final.