South African doubles ace, Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus of New Zealand lifted their third ATP Tour title as a team on Sunday, beating Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau 3-6, 6-3, 10-2 at the Citi Open.
Klaasen and Venus, who claimed three of their four victories this week in Match Tie-breaks, dropped just four points behind their first serves (30/34) to take the title after 74 minutes. The third seeds have now lifted two ATP 500 trophies this year, having also triumphed at the NOVENTI OPEN in June.
Klaasen and Venus, who contested their 100th tour-level match as a team in the semi-finals, defeated Roland Garros champions Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies, Andy Murray and Jamie Murray and second seeds Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo en route to the championship match. This victory marked Klaasen’s 250th tour-level doubles win.
The 36-year-old Capetonian, coached by Stefan De Kock, now owns 16 tour-level doubles crowns. Venus adds a 10th tour-level trophy to his collection. Klaasen and Venus claimed three straight games from 3-3 in the second set, before dominating the Match Tie-break. Klaasen fired a cross-court backhand return winner to clinch the title.
Rojer and Tecau were bidding to capture their 20th tour-level title as a team. The Dutch-Romanian duo lifted the title in the American capital in 2014, beating Sam Groth and Leander Paes in the championship match.
Klaasen and Venus earn 500 ATP Doubles Ranking points and split $123,000 in prize money. Rojer and Tecau receive 300 points and share $60,200.