CAPE TOWN - Raven Klaasen and Rajeev Ram have won their first Masters 1000 doubles title in the prestigious BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California.
It has been a dream run, as they came from behind to shut out fellow doubles specialists Marcelo Melo and Lukasz Kubot in an epic final showdown, winning 6-7(1) 6-4 10-8.
It was a closely-contested match, as Klaasen faced his former partner Melo, with whom he had won his first Masters 1000 title in Shanghai.
Brazilian Melo and his Polish partner Kubot, came out firing, and Klaasen/Ram showed grit as they continued to present a solid presence at the net.
But, it was not enough, as the sense of occasion brought out the best in all four players. Melo/Kubot played a sensational first-set tiebreaker, blasting return winners and big first serves.
However, the South African-American duo continued to fight for the title. Down a set and a break, Klaasen confidently served to close the gap at 2-4, and the pair continued with their sparkling net game, showing incredible reactive volleys and fast hands.
Klaasen hit two massive forehand return winners to close the second set, and he continued, as a brave backhand set up and sealed championship point.
It marks the pair’s biggest title as a team and the duo fulfilled a dream on the road to the Indian Wells crown, as Ram mentioned: “Sometimes you get some of the top singles players playing in the Masters events, whether it’s Rafa and another Spanish guy”.
Klaasen/Ram beat Nadal/Tomic and Djokovic/Troicki en route to the final this week.