Rajeev Ram (left) and Raven Klaasen have reached the final of the Ricoh Open. Photo: Facundo Arrizabalaga, EPA

South Africa’s best doubles player Raven Klaasen and his American partner, Rajeev Ram, have stormed into the finals at the ATP 250 Ricoh Open in the Netherlands.

Klaasen and Ram had a dismal clay court season, but they have credited having a coach with them on tour as being a big help with a quicker turnaround after a bad week.

And after the clay campaign, it has been quite a change on the grass. Their road to Saturday’s final has not been an easy one, with a scare in the first round, as they narrowly boxed out Robin Haase and Dominic Inglot in a 6-3 6-7 10-3 victory.

Thereafter, Klaasen showed just how far he has come as a doubles specialist as he and Ram dispatched his former partner, Leander Paes, playing with Scott Lipsky, with ease in just over an hour, 6-4 6-4.

And they once again pulled out a close victory in the semi-finals against John Peers and Jordan Thompson 7-6 7-5. With Ram’s big serve and Klaasen’s ability to clean up at the net, their game is better suited to a faster surface, and it has shown.

Klaasen has credited their mutual understanding for the improvement in their game. “We are both players who try to maximise our potential all the time,” he said in an exclusive ATP Uncovered interview last month.

The pair are backing up their strong 2016 debut season as a team, as they continue to work hard despite all they have already achieved. “We are trying to bring a more consistent level, week-in and week-out,” said Ram.

They have two titles already in 2017, and they will fight for their third, and their first on grass, at the Ricoh Open, which will bode well with Wimbledon fast approaching.

Klaasen and Ram will face the pairing of Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo in the final.

Independent Media

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