18 February 2014
South African tennis star Raven Klaasen continued his outstanding start to 2014 when he and partner Eric Butorac teamed up to capture the doubles title at the US National Indoor Tennis Championships in Memphis, USA, on Sunday.
Seeded second, Butorac and Klaasen upset the top seeds and world number one pairing of Bob and Mike Bryan 6-4 6-4 in the final.
Second successive win
It was their second successive win over the 15-time Grand Slam winners, following their upset victory over the Bryans in the third round of the Australian Open, where Klaasen and Butorac went on to finish as runners-up.
The Bryans were the defending champions and also won the Memphis title in 2001 and 2004.
After three victories in 2013, the Memphis title was Klaasen’s fourth, while it was a second win in Memphis for Butorac and a 15th ATP Tour title overall.
Last year, the South African/American pair won the Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur. Earlier in the year, playing with Johan Brunstrom, Klaasen lifted titles in Metz and at the Open de Nice Cote d’Azur.
‘Feels really good’
Speaking after claiming victory in Memphis, Klaasen said winning “feels really good”.
“This is my first time in Memphis and playing in front of that crowd in the final was exciting for us. The Bryan brothers have a great record everywhere you go. We got off to a great start in the match and were fortunate to keep it going for the entire match.”
Butorac added: “To get a win over the Bryans solidifies what we did in Australia, and we’re on the right path to being one of the top teams in the world. We need to keep improving and getting better.”
As a pair, Klaasen and Butorac are currently ranked second behind Australian Open champions Lukasz Kubot and Robert Lindstedt in 2014.
Klaasen is up to 30th in the individual doubles rankings, with Butorac one place behind him. After winning in Malaysia at the end of September 2013, the South African star’s world ranking was 46th.
The Bryans, whom Klaasen and Butorac have now beaten twice in succession are tied for first place at the top of the standings. The Americans are the top seeds at the Delray Beach Open this week, while Klaasen and Butorac are the second seeds.