23 Dec 2016

Venus gets wildcard to defend title

10:12 am on 23 December 2016

New Zealand's top doubles player Michael Venus has been given a wildcard to the main draw doubles for next month's ASB tennis Classic in Auckland.

Michael Venus (right) and Mate Pavic have won four doubles titles this year.

Michael Venus (right) and Mate Pavic have won four doubles titles this year. Photo: Photosport

Currently ranked 32 in the world, Venus won four ATP doubles titles this year and was a finalist in five others.

One of those victories was at the ASB Classic earlier this year with partner Mate Pavic of Croatia.

Venus joins New Zealander's Marcus Daniell and Artem Sitak in the doubles main draw.

They received wildcards after winning the New Zealand Championships last weekend.

Venus couldn't play the national tournament due to an ankle injury.

Venus said "The ASB Classic is my favourite tournament of the year so to be told by Karl (Budge-tournament director)

that he will give me the other doubles wildcard to guarantee me the chance to try and defend my title is something that I'm really excited to do."

"Playing at home in Auckland with my family and friends watching, the whole atmosphere and event that's put on by Tennis Auckland is one of the best tournaments there is in the world for players and spectators."

Venus hasn't announced who he'll play doubles with.

The womens tournaments starts on January 2nd with the men's tournament a week later.