South Africa’s Raven Klaasen and his American partner Rajeev Ram on Friday booked their place in the doubles final at the ATP Indian Wells Masters in California with a straight-sets victory over Sam Querrey and Gilles Muller.
The prestigious event has seen many big names such as Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, Nick Kyrgios and Novak Djokovic take part in the doubles event, but the South African-American duo have emerged victorious despite a tough battle with Nadal and Bernard Tomic in the round of 16.
They managed a convincing 6-2, 6-4 semi-final win over the unseeded pair of American Querrey and Luxembourger Muller in just under an hour.
Despite their lower doubles ranking, the losers were tricky customers, as they are ranked 26 and 28 in the world respectively in singles.
Klaasen and Ram played confident tennis, as they won three out of four sudden-death points when games went to deuce. It was all business as they won a total of 56 points compared to 34 from their opponents.
Capetonian Klaasen will have something else to celebrate on Saturday, when Ram, whom he teamed up with in 2015, turns 33.
Klaasen has kept fans updated via social media during the tournament and commented: “Feels great pulling through a tough match”, referring to a tough quarter-final against Serbians Novak Djokovic and Viktor Troicki, and credits his partner and the “awesome atmosphere on court”.
The nine ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments, which hold a special appeal to the world’s best players, are second only to the grand slams, and it is apt that the duo are getting set for their first Masters final on Klaasen’s favourite surface.
They await the winners of the other semi-final between fourth seeds, Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares, and eighth seeds, Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo, with the final scheduled for the early hours of Sunday, SA time.