- Strauss hoping title defence will spark return to form
- Defending champ Venter makes his SA senior team debut
- Singh shoots Amajita to victory against Cameroon
- Pace bounces back with strong finish in Thailand
- Blitzboks take it easy before Las Vegas Sevens
- Maripa bags first title of the year in Bolton
- England wrap up Summer Series with 2-0 win against SA
- Five more Meet records at SA Grand Prix
- Fichardt nails 15th Sunshine Tour win at Joburg Open
- SA duo struggle at Tokyo Marathon
Klaasen crashes out of Australian Open in Melbourne
- Updated: January 23, 2015
Raven Klaasen’s great early run of early-season form has come to a grinding halt at the Australian Open in Melbourne, writes Mark Etheridge.
After reaching the final of the Chennai Open in India and winning the doubles title at the Heineken Open in New Zealand, Klaasen and India’s Leander Paes were knocked out in the second round on Friday.
They went down to Italians Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini in a three-set affair.
Final score was 6-2 4-6 1-6 in a match that lasted an hour and 37 minutes.
Klaasen and Paes had more aces (5-2) than their opponents and they had two double-faults compared to the Italians’ five.
The SA/Indian combination had a first-service percentage of 64% compared to the 70% of their opponents and when it came to points won on their first serve the readings were 69-80% in favour of the Italians.
Klaasen is still not done in Melbourne though as he is in mixed doubles action with the Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina. They play the Netherlands’ Michaella Krajicek and Romania’s Florin Mergea, the latter is a player that Klaasen came across en route to victory in his New Zealand triumph.
Meanwhile two of the country’s rising talents in the shape of Lloyd Harris and Katie Poluta will do battle in the Australian Open Junior Championships.
Harris was a part of Team SA that did duty at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China in August last year while Poluta captured the girls’ singles title at the African Union Region 5 Games in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe last month.
Harris takes on fourth seed Yunseong Chung of Korea while Poluta takes on India’s Pranjala Yadlapalli in first round action.