Thu, 17 Oct 2019

Klaasen SA's last hope at 2019 Australian Open

17 Jan 2019, 01:37 GMT+10

Cape Town - South Africa's Raven Klaasen and his New Zealand doubles partner Michael Venus opened their Australian Open campaign with a victory against American Bradley Klahn and Kazakhstan's Mikhail Kukushkin on Wednesday.

The sixth seeds battled back from a set down to win 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 in two hours and two minutes.

Klaasen said he was happy that they got past the first hurdle.

"It is always tricky to get going in a Grand Slam and I find that the first-round match is always a tough match to play and today was no difference," Klaasen said via a statement released by Tennis SA.

"We got off to a slow start, our opponents put together a good first set but we were able to make a few adjustments to get us back in the match. I am happy that we were able to turn things around and get a win today. It wasn't easy out there, but it is the nature of the game.

"Now we look forward to a good day of practice and to make a few adjustments to hopefully play better in the second round. We look forward to the challenge and are excited to make a big push in the tournament."

In Round 2, Klaasen and Venus will face the winners of the match between Australian duo Lleyton Hewitt and John-Patrick Smith and New Zealand's Marcus Daniell and Dutchman Wesley Koolhof.

Meanwhile, South Africa's other participants in the Australian Open - Kevin Anderson and Lloyd Harris - have both packed their bags.

Anderson lost to America's Frances Tiafoe in the men's singles second round on Wednesday, while Harris lost to Russia's Daniil Medvedev in the first round on Tuesday.

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