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Rampant Raven romps to victory in New Zealand

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Raven Klaasen romped to victory in his second tennis doubles tournament of the year on Saturday, writes Mark Etheridge.
Partnered with veteran Indian player Leander Paes, the South African won the Heineken Open tournament in Auckland, New Zealand.
That comes hard on the heels of the pair reaching the final of last week’s Chennai Open in India.
On Saturday the tournament’s top seeds beat the English/Romanian combination of Dominic Inglot and Florin Mergea in straight sets, 7-6(1) 6-4 to take the title.
They may have been outgunned in the aces (2-3) and double faults departments (4-3) but where it counts they were on top in the 16-team $519,000 tournament.
They had the better first service percentage (72-68%) as well as first service points won (76-67%) and also shaded the points won on second service (39-38%).
‘Leander is arguably one of the best doubles players of all time,’ Klaasen said. ‘He’s still willing to learn and improve and teach me those things I haven’t heard before. Looking forward, my improvement curve is going fast, and he’s improving, too. The way things are going now, we’re going to be a tough team to beat.’
The duo now move on to Australian to prepare for the year’s first Grand Slame, the Australian Open in Melbourne.


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