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Raven reigns in the Rhineland

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The unseeded doubles partners, South Africa’s Raven Klaasen and Japan’s Ben McLachlan, did not lose a set at the ATP 250 event, including wins against fourth seeds Jurgen Melzer and Edouard Roger-Vasselin and Australian Open finalists Max Purcell and Luke Saville.

South Africa’s Raven Klaasen teamed up with Japan’s Ben McLachlan to win the bett1Hulks Championship in Cologne, Germany on Sunday. Picture: Peter Heeger

JOHANNESBURG – South Africa’s Raven Klaasen and Japan’s Ben McLachlan won the bett1Hulks Championship on their doubles team debut, beating two-time Roland Garros champions Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies 6-2, 6-4 on Sunday in Cologne, Germany.

“It was a fun match to play. I want to thank my partner Ben. It was our first week together, had a lot of fun out here,” Klaasen said during the trophy ceremony. “We were very fortunate today for things to go our way. We played probably the hottest team on tour right now in these guys.”

The unseeded tandem did not lose a set at the ATP 250 event, including wins against fourth seeds Jurgen Melzer and Edouard Roger-Vasselin and Australian Open finalists Max Purcell and Luke Saville.

They faced a stiff test in the final against Krawietz and Mies, who have qualified for the Nitto ATP Finals for the second consecutive year.

Klaasen and McLachlan let slip one break advantage in the second set and they nearly did so again when serving for the match at 5-4, 15/40 in the second set. But the champions won three consecutive points to close out their victory after 74 minutes.

“It was a pleasure to play with Raven. Today he just came up with the goods,” McLachlan said.

“It’s been a lot of fun and [I] really enjoyed this one.”

Klaasen and McLachlan saved 10 of the 11 breakpoints they faced and converted all four break points they earned against the Germans.

Klaasen has now won an ATP Tour trophy in eight consecutive years, and McLachlan is a six-time tour-level winner.

They earned 250 FedEx ATP Doubles Ranking points and split €6,030 (R116 060).

African News Agency (ANA)