Raven Klaasen and partner capture Washington Title


Fourth seeds Raven Klaasen and Ben McLachlan overcame Neal Skupski and Michael Venus 7-6(4), 6-4 on Sunday at the Citi Open in Washington to win their first ATP Tour title of the season.
The South African-Japanese tandem did not drop a set this week en route to the trophy in the United States’ capital. Klaasen and McLachlan battled back from 3-5 in the first set, winning 86 per cent (32/37) of their first-service points to record victory in one hour and 46 minutes.
“It is a fantastic feeling,” Klaasen said. “To finally get over that hump, as we have lost a couple of semi-finals, it is nice to have finished it off. Especially here in Washington, where I won the title in 2019, it was nice to come out here and do it again. In the second set we were hanging on for dear life and we were probably the worse team. But being together for a year now, the experience probably helps.
“With this scoring system, you know things can change in a heartbeat. We have been on the receiving end of a few losses like this. We made a couple of key returns at 3-5 in the first set to stay alive and fortunately today it worked out for us. You have to hang in until the end of the set.”
Klaasen and McLachlan enjoyed a run to the quarter-finals at Wimbledon in July, and reached the semi-finals at ATP 250 events in Santiago, Estoril and Geneva this year.
It is the second ATP Tour crown the pair has won together, having captured the bett1HULKS Championship in Cologne last October on their team debut. Individually, It is the 18th tour-level title Klassen has won, while it is the seventh time McLachlan has triumphed.
In a tight first set, Klaasen and McLachlan responded from losing serve in the eighth game to quickly level at 5-5. They then raised their level in the tie-break to move ahead before breaking at 5-4 in the second set to seal their victory.
Team coach Stephan De Kok of Cape Town was pleased with his charges victory. “This is the perfect start to the US hard court swing. My boys played a good final and had a great week. Let’s see how the summer unfolds.”
Notes :
Klaasen won his second consecutive Citi Open doubles championship. He teamed with 2021 finals opponent Michael Venus for the 2019 Citi Open title. Klaasen-McLachlan won their second ATP title in their 18th tournament together. Overall, Klaasen won his 18th ATP doubles title and McLachlan won his seventh. The Citi Open is the first tournament win for both in 2021. – ATP
Source: Bruce Davidson