Support for tennis ace ‘overwhelming’

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iol spt jan 25 Raven Klaasen INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS File photo: Raven Klaasen in action. Picture: Etienne Rothbart

Cape Town - As Raven Klaasen continues his spectacular run at the Australian Open, his father Japie said the support Raven and his family have received is “overwhelming”.

Raven and his American doubles partner, Eric Butorac, have progressed to the finals of the first Grand Slam of the year, for the first time in their careers, as they beat No 8 seeds, Canadian Daniel Nestor and Serbian Nenad Zimonjic in the semi-final.

“We’ve had so much support from family and friends as the excitement builds for tomorrow… everyone wishes him well,” Japie, a former national team player, said.

The family is receiving well wishes not only from the 31-year-old’s birth place of King William’s Town, but from all South Africans, including Sports Minister Fikile Mbulula, which Japie says his son is extremely happy about.

The rising tennis star began playing at six, and has progressed to a career high doubles ranking of 43.

And although his rise to prominence seems sudden to some, his father says he always knew Raven had the potential, but just needed a breakthrough.

Japie, who spoke to Raven two days ago, said his son was feeling the pressure but felt he and his partner could win.

The Klaasens have decided to have a quiet family day and watch the match together. - Weekend Argus

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