SA's Raven Klaasen will pocket a handsome some for making the semi-finals of Wimbledon. Photo: Joel Marklund

LONDON – Though South African Raven Klaasen and his New Zealand partner Michael Venus lost in the men's doubles final at Wimbledon on Saturday, they will be laughing all the way to the bank.

As day turned to dusk at SW19, seventh seeds Mike Bryan and Jack Sock survived  Klaasen and Venus 6-3, 6-7(7), 6-3, 5-7, 7-5 after nearly four hours to take the doubles championship. 

The runners-up split £225 000 (R3 951 921) and earn 1,200 points apiece. 

Appearing in just their second tournament together, the all-American team captured the crown in dramatic fashion. It was their third five-set victory of the fortnight.

But 13th seeds Klaasen and Venus will hold their heads high after reaching their first Grand Slam final as a team. They are projected to crack the Top 8 of the ATP Doubles Race To London with their run to the title match. 

Earlier in the year, they lifted their first team trophy on the indoor hard courts of Marseille and reached the final on the grass of 's-Hertogenbosch.

Klaasen was bidding for his maiden Major crown, while Venus was eyeing his second. The Kiwi previously triumphed alongside Ryan Harrison at Roland Garros last year. 

Bryan, who was competing at the All England Club for the first time with someone other than his brother Bob Bryan, due to the younger twin's hip injury, became the oldest man in the Open Era to win the Wimbledon doubles title. 

The 40-year-old also added a record-tying 17th Grand Slam doubles crown in total, joining Aussie legend John Newcombe atop the list.

"It feels really good," said Bryan. "I mean, it's obviously a long fortnight. I think we were on the court for almost 20 hours, down match points in the third round, down breakpoints to be out of here in the fifth set in the semis. I think we were down a break point in the fifth set tonight.

For Sock, it was the 25-year-old's second Major title, following his maiden triumph with Vasek Pospisil at Wimbledon in 2014.  

African News Agency (ANA)

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