South Africa's Raven Klaasen (right) and doubles partner New Zealand's Michael Venus. Photo: Neil Hall/EPA

JOHANNESBURG – South African doubles specialist Raven Klaasen continue his successful run at the Australian Open with New Zealand partner Michael Venus yesterday.

The duo reached the quarter-finals of the first grand slam of the year after beating Denmark’s Frederick Nielsen and Marcelo Demoliner 6-3 6-1 in just 62 minutes.

They will next face Argentina’s Leonardo Mayer and Joao Sousa of Portugal tomorrow.

“I think that we are getting sharper as the week goes, and hopefully we can build on this hopefully we can push to get deep into the second week this time around,” Klaasen said after Saturday’s third-round victory.

Klaasen reached the 2014 Australian Open final with American Eric Butorac where they suffered a 6-3 6-3 defeat to Lukasz Kubot and Robert Lindstedt. It is already an improvement for the South African-Kiwi combination after they were eliminated in the first round last year.

South Africa's Raven Klaasen in action with doubles partner New Zealand's Michael Venus. Photo: Neil Hall/EPA
South Africa's Raven Klaasen in action with doubles partner New Zealand's Michael Venus. Photo: Neil Hall/EPA

The sixth-seeded duo are enjoying a fruitful partnership since they started playing together just over a year ago.

They won one title at the Open 13 Provence in Marseille and also finished runners-up at four other tournaments in 2018.

The duo featured in the Wimbledon doubles final where they lost to Mike Bryan and Jock Sock of the United States in a nail-biting clash.

Klaasen is SA’s last remaining hope after Kevin Anderson lost his second-round singles match to American Frances Tiafoe 4-6 6-4 6-4 7-5 on Wednesday. Rising star Lloyd Harris had a baptism of fire at his maiden Australian Open getting knocked out in the first round with a defeat to Russian Daniil Medvedev.

Meanwhile, Kholo Montsi and Joubert Klopper progressed to the second round at the Junior Australian Open defeating the Great Britain duo of James Story and Harry Wendelken 6-1 6-4 (10-6). 

@Ockertde Villiers


The Star

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