New Zealand-born tennis player Ben Mclachlan and German doubles partner Jan-Lennard Struff have lost a three-set nailbiter in the men's doubles semi-finals at the Australian Open in Melbourne.
Seventh seeds Oliver Marach of Austria and Croatian Mate Pavic outlasted Mclachlan and Struff 4-6 7-5 7-6 (4) in a battle which lasted two hours and 26 minutes on Margaret Court Arena.
Mclachlan and Struff had earlier knocked out top seeds Lukasz Kubot of Poland and Brazilian Marcelo Melo in the quarter-finals, winning in a third-set tiebreaker to set up Thursday's semi-final clash.
Queenstown-born Mclachlan, 25, plays for Japan, his mother's nation, and was making his grand slam debut in Australia.
Ranked 73rd in doubles, and playing for the first time alongside Struff, Mclachlan is Japan's top-ranked doubles player, and played in last September's World Group play-off in Osaka against Brazil.
He has said he switched allegiances as Japan offered more financial support and opportunities.