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Tennis | SA Tennis

Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus

Klaasen advances through in Australian Open doubles

Raven Klaasen and his New Zealand partner Michael Venus edged out Kiwi Marcus Daniell and Dutchman Wesley Koolhof 7-6 (4) 6-3 to reach the third round stage of the doubles at the Australian Open on Saturday.

The sixth seeded pair, who never faced a break point in the match, closed out the second set to secure victory in just under 90 minutes.

Klaasen, a former finalist at Melbourne Park, took control of the match to keep the country’s hope alive in the opening Grand Slam of the year.

“I am pretty happy with our performance. It was going to be tough match out there…and also Mike (Venus) like Daniell is a Kiwi, so they knew each other…there were no surprises there,” an excited Klaasen said from Melbourne on Saturday.

“We played a clean match which was quite satisfying. I think that we are getting sharper as the week goes, and hopefully we can build on this, come back tomorrow (Sunday) even stronger. It is exciting to be in third round here down under, hopefully we can push to get deep into the second week this time around.”

The South African-Kiwi pair will now take on Marcelo Demoliner (Brazil) and Frederik Nielsen (Denmark) in the last 16 on Sunday.

Meanwhile, in the Junior Australian Open event, South African qualifier Joubert Klopper lost out to Poland’s Wojciech Marek in the first round, suffering a 6-1 6-4 defeat.

The first set was a one-sided affair as the 17-year-old Klopper looked to be struggling with his serve in his first Grand Slam appearance.

The 115th-ranked Klopper, however, showed more fight in the second set as he moved up the score to 5-4 but the Polish world number 47 seized an opportunity to close the set and secure a spot in the second round.

The only South African left in the junior event, Kholo Montsi will get his campaign underway on Sunday as he face-off against Russian world number 52 Alexander Binda.


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