July 11, 2017 / 8:58 AM / a month ago

Tennis: Trans-Tasman rivals Peers, Venus face off for semi-final spot

LONDON (Reuters) - Hitting partners John Peers and Michael Venus will face off for Wimbledon's trans-Tasman bragging rights on Court Two on Tuesday when they battle for a doubles semi-final spot.

As top seeds, the duo of Australian Peers and Finland's Henri Kontinen will start as favourites after a largely trouble-free passage through to the last eight.

Victory would bring some welcome cheer to tennis fans Down Under after a singles tournament they will be keen to forget.

Among the men, 20th seed Nick Kyrgios pulled out with a hip injury during his opening encounter while Bernard Tomic lost both his first round match and, after complaining of feeling bored during that defeat to Germany's Mischa Zverev, his racket sponsor Head.

Among the Australian women, only unheralded qualifier Arina Rodionova made it as far as the second round.

Tuesday's match is likely to present Peers and Kontinen with their toughest Wimbledon test yet.

Kiwi Venus and American Ryan Harrison, seeded 10th, are brimful of confidence after winning their maiden grand slam title last month.

"The week before Wimbledon, I was practicing every day with Peers, so I know him pretty well," Venus told the New Zealand Herald.

"(Peers and Kontinen) started out the year well and have been deep in a lot of big tournaments, so we'll come out and play well, and try to take the opportunities that we get."

Reporting by John Stonestreet; editing by Amlan Chakraborty

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