Venus and Puetz stun US Open champions at Indian Wells
Michael Venus and his German partner Tim Puetz have caused a stunning upset over the US Open champions to reach the doubles quarter finals at the Indian Wells Masters in California.
The unseeded pair have beaten second seeds American Rajeev Ram and Britain’s Joe Salisbury 4-6, 6-4 10-6 in an hour and 28 minutes in a tournament dubbed the unofficial 5th Major.
There was just one break of serve in the opening set with Ram and Salisbury winning the set in 32 minutes. Venus had to dig deep in his opening service game of the second set saving two break points, but it was looking bleak for the Kiwi and German when Venus was broken to trail 3-2. However, they broke Salisbury immediately and the Brit faltered again in his next service game trying to stay in the set with a double fault handing the set to Venus and Puetz.
They dominated the match tie break racing to an 8-3 lead on the back of terrific serving and brilliant return points facing Ram in particular. At 9-4 they had five match points and although the second seeds saved two, they couldn’t stave off a third with a mishit Puetz volley landing in to secure the match.
It’s even more meritorious for the fact Puetz was only playing his first match since a more than month long injury break after suffering a side strain while serving in the pair’s second round match at the US Open.
Venus and Puetz will face the fifth seeds Kevin Krawietz and Horia Tecau for a place in the semi finals.