5 Jun 2017

NZ's Michael Venus through to French Open quarters

11:53 am on 5 June 2017

New Zealand doubles player Michael Venus has won through to the quarter-finals of a tennis Grand Slam for the first time.

New Zealand tennis player Michael Venus in action at the ASB Classic.

New Zealand tennis player Michael Venus. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

In a remarkable comeback Venus and his American partner Ryan Harrison beat the Indian pair of Purav Raja and Divij Sharan 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 in their third round match at the French Open overnight.

In doing so Venus is the first Kiwi male to reach the quarterfinals in doubles at a Grand Slam since Brett Steven and his American partner Pat Galbraith at Wimbledon in 1998.

"I've been wanting to be in this position in these Grand Slams for a long time now. I've been knocking on the door but haven't quite got over the line. We were almost out of that match today, very lucky to be where we are and just really excited," said Venus.

Venus had made it to the third round at Grand Slams five previous times.

The win will take him from his current rank of 39 to the cusp of the world's top 30.

The Indian pair were serving for the match but Harrison and Venus played an inspired return game to break Sharan and the match turned.

They won a tight tiebreaker to force a deciding third set.

Venus and Harrison continued the momentum breaking twice to cruise through the final set 6-2.

They will take on the 7th seeds Ivan Dodig of Croatia and Spaniard Marcel Granollers.

Regardless of the result of the quarter-final Venus is guaranteed a healthy pay day. He will share $113,000 for making the quarters.

Nadal breezes into final eight

Rafael Nadal railroaded compatriot Roberto Bautista Agut 6-1 6-2 6-2 in a fourth round performance that was also an emphatic statement.

Nadal destroyed his opponent on Court Suzanne Lenglen to move into the quarter- finals and one step closer to a 10th Roland Garros crown.

Nadal will next face another Spaniard, Pablo Carreno Busta, for a place in the semi-finals.

The supreme claycourter, Nadal has managed to lift his level even higher this year. So far he has lost just 20 games - a record only bettered by the 19 he lost in 2012.

Busta, who has enjoyed a meteoric rise in the last 18 months, going from a ranking of 67 at the start of 2016 to world No.21, sent Canadian Milos Raonic world No.6 packing in five sets.

Defending champion Novak Djokovic eased into the quarter-finals after outclassing claycourt specialist Alberto Ramos-Vinolas 7-6(5) 6-1 6-3.

Frenchman Gael Monfils advanced to the fourth round after compatriot Richard Gasquet retired midway through the third set with a thigh injury.

Monfils won 7-6(5) 5-7 4-3 and will face third seed Stan Wawrinka next.

Russia's Karen Khachanov beat big-serving American John Isner in four sets and will meet world number one Andy Murray in the fourth round.

- RNZ/Reuters