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.