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Daniell in stunning upset

Marcus Daniell [right] and Phillip Oswald in their first-round win at the US Open. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

TENNIS

CHRIS COGDALE
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Wairarapa tennis star Marcus Daniell and Austrian partner Phillip Oswald have pulled off a stunning upset in the first round of the US Open men’s doubles.

Playing in their first match together in six months, Daniell and Oswald ousted seventh seeds Raven Klaasen and Oliver Marach 6-3, 7-6 [7-5] in one hour, 40 minutes at Flushing Meadows, New York.

Daniell and Oswald got off to the ideal start, forcing a break in the first set with pinpoint serving and returning.

The hotly contested second set went to a tiebreaker.

Daniell nailed some crucial returns and winners at the net and both players served impressively to break and take the match.

The calibre of the seventh-seeded opponents underlines the importance of this win.

Marach has been ranked as high as two in the world for doubles and has won 23 titles including the Australian Open and been a top 80 singles player.

Klaasen, who has previously partnered Kiwi Michael Venus, has been ranked as high as seven and has won 16 titles.

Daniell was thrilled with the result.

“The key for us was to maintain positive body language and attitude throughout,” he told Tennis New Zealand in an interview.

“We knew it wouldn’t be our prettiest tennis after a six-month break from matches, but we also knew we play well enough to beat anyone.

“It’s fantastic to start back with a strong win.”

The US doubles field was reduced from 64 to 32 because of covid-19.

Daniell and Oswald have progressed to the last 16 where they will play Americans Christopher Eubanks and MacKenzie McDonald.

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