Michael Venus into Atlanta Open second round

DAVID LONG
Last updated 12:11 22/07/2014
Michael Venus
Getty Images
DOUBLES TROUBLE: Kiwi doubles specialist Michael Venus wants to play in January's Heineken Open.

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New Zealand's Michael Venus is into the second round of the singles at the Atlanta Open on the ATP circuit.

Venus, who has become a doubles specialist over the past year, but still tries to play singles as much as he can, managed to win through the singles qualifying tournament and was fortunate to be given a bye in the first round, thanks to the late withdrawal of Gael Monfils and Radek Stepanek.

The 26-year-old Venus, who has a singles ranking of 349 and is 76th in doubles, would play the winner of the second round match between American Jack Sock and Colombian Alejandro Gonzalez.

In the final round of qualifying at the US tournament today, Venus defeated American Ranjeev Ram 7-5 3-6 5-7 in just over two hours.

He was then given a golden ticket of replacing Monfils in the draw, which meant he had a bye to the second round of the main draw.

Making it this far meant he has picked up $19,419 of prize money and earned 20 ranking points.

In the doubles at Atlanta, Venus and his partner Kevin King have been drawn against Donald Young and India's Divij Sharan.

Venus' success in Atlanta followed on from New Zealand pair Marcus Daniel and Artem Sitak winning the doubles event at the challenger tournament in Granby, Canada last week.

The week prior to that Sitak and along with his partner Mateusz Kowalczyk were crowned doubles champions at the ATP tournament in Stuttgart, Germany.

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