Cape Town - It seemed nothing could halt the rampant run of tennis successes enjoyed by South African doubles star Raven Klaasen, which culminated over the weekend in a title triumph with New Zealand partner Michael Venus in the ATP 500 Citi Open tournament in Washington, a career-best seventh world ranking and a likely fourth successive qualification for the ATP Tour Finals event in London at the end of the year.
But with the Klaasen-Venus combination well-nigh invincible on the court recently, having also won the Halle tournament in Germany and reaching the semi-final stage at Wimbledon in addition to overcoming a powerful field that included almost all the best doubles combinations in the world in Washington, the 36-year-old Cape Town stalwart was delivered an unstoppable off-court ace by the Canadian government's delay in sanctioning a visa to enter the country in time to participate in the current Masters 1000 tournament on Montreal.
"Raven's long-standing visa had expired," explained his coach, Stefan de Kock. "However we only realised it at the last moment and all the concerted attempts to secure a renewal to enter the country before the start of the Canadian Open did not materialise in time, with Michael (Venus) left with no alternative but to seek a makeshift doubles partner for Montreal."
De Kock confirmed, nevertheless, it would only be a temporary break to the successful Klaasen-Venus partnership, with the pair back together for next week's Cincinnati Masters tournament and, of course, the upcoming US Open Grand Slam at the end of the month as well.
But notwithstanding this, the Montreal break-up does have some serious consequences for Klaasen and Venus, with the pair having reached the final in the Canadian Open last year and the South African doubles maestro, if not Venus, therefore surrendering 600 ranking points that is likely to cost him his newly acquired seventh world ranking next week.
The moral of the story? Don't take chances with your visa if you are going to Canada!