Raven Klaasen and new doubles partner click immediately
CAPE TOWN - South African doubles specialist Raven Klaasen and his Japanese partner Ben Mclachlan produced a rousing performance to lift the ATP 250 doubles title at the Bett1Hulks Championship in Germany on Sunday.
It was the first time that Klaasen had teamed up with the New Zealand-born Japanese national Mclachlan. Together they defeated German third-seeds Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies 6-2, 6-4.
The result marked a personal triumph for Klaasen who was playing with a third partner in five weeks, through no fault of his own.
Krawietz and Mies, two-time French Open champions, are among the world’s foremost pairings and have already qualified for the prestigious Nitto ATP Finals in London for a second consecutive year.
The win marked Klaasen’s first doubles triumph since August 2019.
“It was a fun match to play here in Cologne,” said Klaasen.
“I want to thank my partner Ben. It was our first week together, had a lot of fun out here.
“We were very fortunate today for things to go our way. We played probably the hottest team on ATP Tour right now in these guys.”
Remarkably, the unseeded pairing of Klaasen and McLachlan saved 10 of 11 breakpoints in the final.
They did not lose a set en route to the final and scored notable wins over fourth seeds Austrian Jurgen Melzer and Frenchman Edouard Roger-Vasselin as well as Australian Open finalists Max Purcell and Luke Saville (both Australia).
Klaasen’s coach Stephan de Kock said Klaasen and McLachlan have now joined forces and will be playing as a team for the next few weeks.
“This win was crucial for the ATP Tour points and it helps them to avoid playing qualifying rounds,” said De Kock. “They will need more big wins to secure main draw slots.
“Now they will be playing in Paris, and then after that, there are two more tournaments for them.”
Meanwhile, leading SA singles player Lloyd Harris was stopped in his tracks in the quarter-finals of the ATP Tour 250 tournament in Antwerp, Belgium, over the weekend.
It was Harris’ second quarter-final appearance at an ATP Tour 250 tournament.
After wins over two players with a higher world ranking, Harris was defeated 6-3, 7-6 (7/2) by Frenchman Ugo Humbert, who went on to win Sunday’s final.
Harris said he will be playing another ATP Tour 250 tournament this week. “I’ll be playing the Astana Open in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan and that will be the last tournament for me this year.”