ATP Tour

SA tennis ace qualifies for year-end ATP Finals

Raven Klaasen, Michael Venus (Getty)
Raven Klaasen, Michael Venus (Getty)

Cape Town - South African doubles tennis star Raven Klaasen has qualified for the year-end ATP Finals in London.

The ATP confirmed late on Tuesday that Klaasen and his New Zealand doubles partner Michael Venus were the final team to qualify for the prestigious event to be held at The O2 arena in London from November 11-18.

Klaasen and Venus will make their team debuts at the ATP Finals in their first season as a pair.

The South African/Kiwi tandem won one title - at the Open 13 Provence in Marseille - and also finished runner-up at four other tournaments.

During the grass swing, they were runners-up at the Libema Open in 's-Hertogenbosch, followed by Wimbledon. They continued their success on hard courts with a run to the final at the Rogers Cup, an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament in Toronto and at the 500-level Japan Open Tennis Championships in Tokyo.

Klaasen will be making his third appearance at the ATP Finals. The 35-year-old South African reached the championship match with American Rajeev Ram on his tournament debut in 2016 and stepped in to play a round-robin match as alternates last year.

Venus, 30, qualifies for a second straight year. The New Zealand native won all three round-robin matches alongside American Ryan Harrison in 2017.

Last week was Davis Cup week on the men’s tennis calendar and Klaasen was doing duty for South Africa with team-mates Lloyd Harris, Ruan Roelofse, Nik Scholtz and junior Philip Henning in Lisbon, Portugal whilst Kevin Anderson was having a family break in Austria.

This week both Anderson and Klaasen are in the same world ranking positions as last week, with Anderson ranked at No 8 on the singles rankings and Klaasen No 18 in the doubles rankings. Harris is also unchanged at No 112 on the singles rankings.

Anderson remains a strong contender for the ATP Finals as he is currently seventh in the race to London.

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