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Venus runner-up again at US Open

New Zealand’s Michael Venus and his Chinese Taipei Hao-Ching partner have been beaten in straight sets in the mixed doubles final at the US Tennis Open in New York.

England’s Jamie Murray and American Bethanie Mattek-Sands defended their title with a 6-2 6-3 win.

Venus and Chan also finished runnersup to Murray in the 2017 final in New York with Murray playing with Swiss great Martina Hingis on that occasion.

It’s Murray’s seventh grand slam doubles title, and fifth in mixed.

Michael Venus and his Chinese Taipei partner Hao-Ching Chan (left) finished runners-up to Britain’s Jamie Murray and American Bethanie Mattek-Sands. Photo: U.S. Tennis Open

A break of the Venus serve, courtesy of a stunning Mattek-Sands return, gave the Glasgow-Minnesota alliance the early initiative.

Murray’s instinctive volley then secured the double break and the opening set was wrapped up in 27 minutes.

Mattek-Sands’ presence had ensured the backing of the home crowd on Arthur Ashe, and they roared with delight when her backhand return whizzed past Venus on championship point.

The colourful American whipped out her phone to take a selfie with her partner as they celebrated a dominant win.

“We played amazing the whole two weeks, a lot of great tennis,” said Murray.

“It’s easier playing on the big courts, I know Beth loves it, playing in front of lots of people and she played an amazing match.

“She says I’m the yin to her yang. We’re really happy to win again.”

-RNZ/AAP

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Venus Williams ousted by Bencic at Aus Open

Venus Williams was sent packing on the opening day of the Australian Open following a shock first-round loss to unseeded Swiss Belinda Bencic.

Last year’s runner-up and fifth seed Williams followed fellow American and US Open champion Sloane Stephens out of Melbourne Park at the first hurdle – upstaged 6-3 7-5 by Bencic on Monday.

Williams was flying the family name in Melbourne this year after sister and 23-time grand slam winner Serena withdrew from the tournament after giving birth in September.

And Venus – a seven-time major winner and a runner-up at the Australian Open on two occasions – crashed out to 20-year-old Bencic on Rod Laver Arena as a slam was left without a Williams sister in the second round for the first time since the 2011 French Open.

The 37-year-old was broken five times and tallied 26 unforced errors in the defeat lasting one hour, 53 minutes against Hopman Cup champion Bencic.

Bencic, who teamed up with Roger Federer to win the team event in Perth, will face either qualifier Luksika Kumkhum or Johanna Larsson in the next round.

Meanwhile, Irina-Camelia Begu stunned 31st seed Ekaterina Makarova 3-6 6-4 8-6 and world number nine Coco Vandeweghe was eliminated by Timea Babos.