LONDON: New Zealand’s Michael Venus was knocked out of the Wimbledon’s men’s doubles on Thursday before conducting his post-match media duties while bouncing his nine-month-old daughter on his knee.
The 31-year-old brought baby Lila Grace down to the media centre to allow fiancee Sally a degree of respite after he had been locked in a three-hour Centre Court duel.
“I guess we should have brought your dummy down with us,” Venus said to his daughter as he gamely battled on, answering questions while keeping a restless Lila Grace occupied with a chocolate bar wrapper.
Venus and his partner Raven Klaasen of South Africa lost their semi-final to Colombia’s Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah, 6-4, 6-7 (4/7), 7-6 (7/2), 6-4.
The Kiwi-South African pair were runners-up at Wimbledon 12 months ago.
Klaasen needed medical treatment midway through the match when he was hit on the side of the head by a screaming Farah service return.
As blood poured from the wound, a stunned Farah leapt over the net to comfort the South African and offer his apologies.
“I told him to toughen up,” joked Venus, who was French Open champion in 2017 with former partner Ryan Harrison.
“He got it taped up and said he was fine. I kind of let the serve hang there and so it was blasted back.
“He kind of blames me for not hitting the spot.”
Cabal and Farah will face Nicolas Mahut and Edouard Roger-Vasselin in the final.
French pair Mahut and Roger-Vasselin defeated Ivan Dodig and Filip Polasek 6-2, 7-6 (9/7), 7-6 (7/2) in their semi-final.