Michael "Kiwi" Venus
Not since the days of the Chris Lewis has New Zealand had a tennis player to get excited about. Enter Michael Venus, a 22 year old New Zealander who moved to the United States to finish his last two years of high school before being given a tennis scholarship at LSU. With a futures title to his name already this year Venus reached his first challenger final in Karshi, Uzbekistan as a qualifier last week, going down to Blaz Kavcic 6-7 6-7 respectively.
Now armed with a world ranking of 329 and direct entry into another challenger this week in Kazahkstan it is hard to see Venus not continue to make huge strides in the tennis world sooner rather than later. This time last year Michael was competing in the US open qualifying thanks to a wildcard given by the USTA. He is now the number two ranked New Zealander and should be in line for a Davis Cup call up some time soon.