Artem Sitak goes separate ways with double partner

Artem Sitak wants to join Michael Venus in the top tournaments in the world.
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Artem Sitak wants to join Michael Venus in the top tournaments in the world.

Artem Sitak has split with his long term doubles partner in the aim of joining Michael Venus in the top 30.

Sitak has spent the last year playing with Nicholas Monroe from America. 

They made it to the third round at Wimbledon last week, but Sitak has revealed they've now gone their separate ways and he's teamed up with Wesley Koolhof from the Netherlands for the foreseeable future.

"Nick and I have played together for a year and we had solid results, but I think we both want more," Sitak said. 

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"We want to win more tournaments, or go deep in them, so it was a mutual decision to split up."

Sitak is at 77 in the world rankings and with Monroe they were unable to make it to the final of any ATP tournament.

The 31-year-old Sitak is looking to break into the top 30, which would get him into Masters tournaments, the highest category of ATP events, where prize money and ranking points are significantly higher.

"I was 39 two years ago and I'm going to be around 62 after Wimbledon," Sitak said.

"I definitely want to get up there and feel that I can, the goal now is to make it into the top 30 and get into the Masters. 

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"Mike (Venus) has made it, he's in all the Masters and will play the year end top eight (ATP World Tour Finals) with Ryan (Harrison).

"That's great, he's already there, he's won a Grand Slam.

"Marcus (Daniell) is on the edge there and hopefully he and I will get into the top 30 and play at the Masters tournaments."

It's something of a closed club to play doubles at the Masters 1000 events.

At the tournaments below, there aren't nearly as many ranking points available to easily make it into the top 30, unless a player wins a string of tournaments.

But there are so many points available at the Masters tournaments that once a player is ranked high enough to play in them, they only need to win a round or two every now and then to stay up there.

"There are a lot of points at stake there," Sitak said. 

"But you only get to play in them if you're in the top 30 and to get in the top 30 you have to go deep in a Grand Slam, which obviously Mike did.

"You've got to take those opportunities and this was one at Wimbledon because it's my favourite Grand Slam and I feel I play my best on grass."

Sitak plans to play four tournaments with Koolhof, who is ranked 60 in the world, before the US Open and hopes during that time they'll get to know each other's game.

"Sometimes it's instant," Sitak said. 

"I've seen him play many times, he's seen me play and we both know what we're doing well and what we need to work on."

For Daniell, he has no plans to split with his regular partner Marcelo Demoliner and even though they went out in the third round also at Wimbledon, he believes they are getting better as a team.

"We're playing tennis that belongs in the top 30 and we have been for the last couple of months," Daniell said.

"Since the French Open we've been improving week by week and a few results could have gone our way but didn't.

"If they had, we might be sitting close to 30, but that's the way tennis goes and we have to keep trying to improve every week.

"Hopefully by the time New York rolls around we'll be in a position to push for the Masters at the end of the year."

Venus will be able to play in all the biggest tournaments. He'll take a week off then team up with Harrison to play Atlanta, Washington, Montreal and then Cincinnati before the US Open.

"That's the bonus of where the ranking is now," Venus said. 

"I can look at the schedule for the rest of the year and know what tournaments we'll play. I can also take some weeks off to work on things and be fresh for the big tournaments."

 - Sunday Star Times

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