Cape Town - South African doubles star Raven Klaasen started his 2017 tennis season on a winning note with a new doubles partner, Michael Venus from New Zealand.
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 earlier this decade.
Venus and Klaasen, the second seeds at the ASB Classic in Auckland, defeated New Zealander Artem Sitak and Dutch partner Wesley Koolhof 6-1, 6-7 (2/7), 10-7 on Tuesday.
Venus and Klaasen will next meet Poland's Marcin Matkowski and Pakistan's Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi, the defending champions who needed two hours to down Indian pairing Leander Paes and Purav Raja 6-7 (4/7), 7-6 (10/8), 10-7.
The 35-year-old Klaasen, who boasts 13 ATP doubles titles, is currently ranked at No 25 in the world in doubles.
Raven Klaasen started his season, and his new doubles partnership with Michael Venus, with a thrilling three set win at the ASB Classic in Auckland, New Zealand. Klaasen and Venus edged Artem Sitak and Wesley Koolhof 6-1 6-7 (7-2) 10-7 for their first win ???????? pic.twitter.com/0K3dzTSvco— Tennis South Africa (@TennisSA) January 10, 2018