Cape Town - South African tennis star Raven Klaasen and his new doubles partner, Michael Venus from New Zealand, lost in the first round of the Australian Open on Thursday.
Klaasen and Venus, the No 8 seeds, lost a tight encounter 7-6 (16/14), 7-6 (7/4) to Spaniard David Marrero and American Scott Lipsky.
Klaasen partnered American Rajeev Ram for the past few seasons, but has started 2017 alongside Venus.
Venus and Klaasen had previously played together when they won a futures tournament in Uzbekistan seven years ago.
The 35-year-old Klaasen, who boasts 13 ATP doubles titles, is currently ranked No 25 in the world in doubles.
South Africa’s only other participant in the main draw of the Australian Open, Kevin Anderson, was also ousted in the first round, going down to Britain’s Kyle Edmund on Monday.