ATP Tour

Klaasen, Paes reach 1st final

2015-01-10 13:28
Raven Klaasen (AFP)

Johannesburg - South African Davis Cup stalwart Raven Klaasen and veteran 41 year-old Indian icon Leander Paes reached the men's doubles final of the Chennai Open, in their first time out as a pairing.

Klaasen and Paes beat the Spanish combination of Pablo Carreno Busta and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-3, 6-3 in the semi-finals and will play either the Indian pairing of Purav Raja and Adi Shemadin or Chinese Taipei's Yen-Hsun Lu and Great Britain's Jonathan Murray in the final.

The 20th world-ranked Klaasen recently raised eyebrows with the surprise announcement that he was terminating a successful partnership with the United States' Eric Butorac, with who he reached the Australian Open final, to form an intriguing allegiance with Paes.

An eight-times Grand Slam doubles winner, Paes has been hampered by injuries during the past two years. His reputation as one of the world's leading doubles players has suffered as a consequence as he approached what many believed would be a winding up of his career.

But the diminutive, cat-like Paes has come out with the claim that he has regained full fitness and was out to show that he was far from finished as a top level doubles player.

Klaasen, for one, clearly believes the Indian star will prove as good as his word and explained that he had terminated a successful and closely-knit partnership with Butorac because he believed there was a better chance of achieving his ambition to become a Grand Slam winner in partnership with Paes.

And the pair have got off to a dream start in Chennai, celebrating the start of Paes' 25th year on the international tennis circuit with a sumptuous chocolate cake provided by the Indian veteran.


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