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Daniell now eyes Pakistan

By Gary Caffell

Masterton’s Marcus Daniell is now looking forward to representing New Zealand against Pakistan in the Asia/Oceania Davis Cup group one tennis tie in Christchurch from September 16 to 18.

Daniell showed he was in peak form for this important fixture by teaming up with American Brian Baker to make the third round of the men’s doubles at the 2016 United States Open at Flushing Meadows.

After a relatively comfortable 6-3, 6-3 victory over Malez Jaziri (Tunisia) and Hans Podlipnik-Castillo (Chile) in the first round, Daniell and Baker showed tremendous resolve to secure a straight sets 6-2, 7-6 success over grand slam winners Rohan Bopanna (India) and Frederick Neilsen (Denmark)in the second round.

The second set tiebreaker saw Daniell and Baker come from 2-5 down to take the next five points and seal their passage into the third round.

Daniell had the pressure of serving on match point and he produced a stunner out wide to clinch the match.

The third round confrontation was fourth seeds Jamie Murray (Britain) and Bruno Soares (Brazil), another tough assignment for Daniell and Baker, but they were on court one hour and 45 minutes before Murray and Soares won 6-3, 7-6.

Daniell and Baker had a set point at 6-5 in the tiebreaker but a couple of excellent shots from their opponents put paid to any chance of a comeback.

Daniell was philosophical after the loss.

“We gave ourselves plenty of opportunities but missed by inches on every one. I feel I played well overall so I can’t be too unhappy about the loss. If I keep putting myself in these situations it will click eventually. This has been a positive tournament and I’m pumped to bring this form into the Davis Cup.”

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