Harrison, Venus, ascendant in France

A rare tennis success for a New Zealander at the highest level:  Michael Venus wins French Open doubles

For a sport that has been in the doldrums for so long, tennis in New Zealand at last has someone to savour, a Grand Slam doubles champion.

29 year old Aucklander Michael Venus and his American doubles partner Ryan Harrison have won the French Open with a straight sets 7-6 (7-5) 6-7 (7-4) 6-3 win in the final over Mexican Santiago Gonzalez and American Donald Young in a final lasting two hours and 14 minutes. It was the first Roland Garros doubles final featuring two unseeded teams since 1993 and the first without a player from a European nation since 1982.

It’s a remarkable triumph in so many respects. Venus and Harrison only teamed up together for the start of the clay court season, winning their first ATP tournament in Estoril. Great friends since their US college days, Venus was a groomsman at Harrison’s wedding last year, the Kiwi hadn’t won a set Roland Garros in three previous first round appearances. Clay is his worst surface, or was, growing up in New Zealand where there are no clay courts.

Venus has become New Zealand’s first Grand Slam men’s champion since Onny Parun won the doubles here in 1974. Parun and Australian Dick Crealy beat American’s Robert Lutz and Stan Smith in the final.

He is the fifth New Zealander to win a Grand Slam doubles title after Anthony Wilding, Harry Parker, Parun and Judy Chaloner.

This is a great achievement for Venus – and Ryan Harrison.

But it should be pointed out that a doubles win requires more than one player – Michael Venus won alongside American Ryan Harrison.

The headline would be more accurate as ‘Venus and Harrison win French Open doubles’.

It wasn’t just the Herald focussing on half of the winning combination.

Stuff:  French Open: Michael Venus wins New Zealand’s first grand slam title since 1979

1 News:  Watch: A Kiwi champion! The moment Michael Venus claims French Open doubles title

International headlines give credit to both those who one the title;

Daily Mail: Venus and Harrison win doubles at French Open

The New Indian Express: Michael Venus-Ryan Harrison clinch French Open men’s doubles title

And even the US gives equal credit to both winners.

NY Daily News: Venus and Harrison win doubles at French Open

Michael Venus of New Zealand and Ryan Harrison of the United States have won the men’s doubles final at the French Open.

Credit is certainly due to Venus, but equally so to Harrison.

Well done to both of them. Not so well done by the New Zealand media.





  1. duperez

     /  June 11, 2017

    Big payday. According to the records, before yesterday the career earnings for Venus were $NZ855,000. The big win was worth $NZ425,000!

  2. PDB

     /  June 11, 2017