The New Zealand tennis player Michael Venus and his South African partner Raven Klaasen have been beaten in the men’s doubles final at Wimbledon.
The pair lost to Americans Mike Bryan and Jack Sock in five sets, 6-3, 6-7, 6-3, 5-7, 7-5.
Venus won the French Open ttile last year with American Ryan Harrison.
It was Mike Bryan’s 17th Grand Slam doubles title, his first not partnering twin brother Bob who was injured.
It was a tremendous effort for Venus and Klaasen to make the final, having to play two five-set matches on the way.
But against the American duo they fell just short, with the final coming down to just a few crucial points at the end of the fifth set, under the closed roof.
“We were getting in their return games, had a couple of chances and they came up with some good shots on those points and then it was coming down to one or two points here or there and they executed in that game to break us, so credit to them.”
In all, Venus played on Centre Court twice and once on No 1 court over the fortnight, so he got to experience the best that Wimbledon has to offer.
His first appearance on Centre Court was in the quarterfinals, against Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares. That was an eye opening experience for him, while the final was another thrill.
“I thoroughly enjoyed it,” he said.
“I don’t know how you can play out there and not be happy and enjoy playing tennis.
“That’s what we do all the training for, for moments like that and hopefully I can create more of them in the future.”
As Venus went deeper into Wimbledon, he said he could feel the interest building back in New Zealand and even though he’s on the other side of the world, that support inspired him.
“It’s been great,” he said.
“I’ve noticed from the messages that there have been more each round and it’s great to hear from people, have the support and know that people are following it and are behind us.
“To be able to share the moment with people, even if they’re not here but are watching it at home, it is cool, because I know they’re behind us and it’s great to have that support.”
Venus will pick up $247,000 of prize money for his efforts in the men’s and mixed doubles, where he made the semifinals.
The ranking points picked up for making this final, should ensure he and Klaasen are able to keep playing in the ATP Masters 1000 tournaments for probably another year.