Klaasen/Ram Fight Through To SFs
Seventh seeds edge Lopez/Lopez on Friday
Seventh seeds Raven Klaasen/Rajeev Ram are making the most of their debut at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. The pairing advanced to the semi-finals with a tight 6-3, 7-6(8) win over fourth seeds Feliciano Lopez/Marc Lopez.
With the win, Klaasen/Ram clinched second place in Group Fleming/McEnroe. Joining Klaasen/Ram in the final four are fifth seeds Henri Kontinen/John Peers, who finished first in Group Fleming/McEnroe with a 3-0 record.
Klaasen/Ram will face second seeds Jamie Murray/Bruno Soares in the semi-finals, who clinched the year-end No. 1 Emirates ATP Doubles Team Ranking on Friday. Kontinen/Peers take on third seeds Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan in the other semi-final.
The importance of the occasion produced some understandably tense moments for both Klaasen/Ram and Lopez/Lopez in the opening set. Both teams traded early service breaks, but Klaasen/Ram gained the advantage after Klaasen hit a volley winner to break Marc Lopez and give his team a 5-3 lead. The South African-American pair won the final eight points of the set to grab an early advantage.
Both teams held serve throughout the second set to force a tie-break. An overhead winner from Klaasen gave his team a mini-break to lead 3/1. Klaasen/Ram were unable to convert on two match points at 6/4, with a passing shot from the Spanish duo levelling the tie-break at 6/6. A return winner from Marc Lopez erased another match point at 6/7, while a volley winner from Feliciano Lopez saved another at 7/8. But Klaasen/Ram stayed calm and converted on their fifth opportunity, wrapping up the match in one hour and 24 minutes.