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Klaasen and Ram fall at final hurdle in London

Henri Kontinen and John Peers ended their season on a 10-match streak as they beat South Africa’s Raven Klaasen and American Rajeev Ram in the final of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London on Sunday.
But it was so very close for Klaasen and Ram as they went down 2-6 6-1 10-8. To be fair, though, Kontinen and Peers deserved their victory on the strength of their impressive recent form.
It was the Finnish/Australian combination’s debut season and their winning streak went back to the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris earlier this month.
Seventh seeds Klaasen/Ram were going for their biggest team title at the O2 Arena, and the South African and American started strong. They broke twice in the first set and erased all three break points faced to breeze through the 30-minute opener.
Before Sunday, Kontinen/Peers had been broken only twice all tournament, having gone 41/43 on serve during their 4-0 match start. But they rebounded in the second set, breaking Ram to love to lead 2-0. They broke again when Klaasen guided a forehand volley wide and would soon even the match.
Klaasen/Ram regrouped in time for the match tie-break, and the teams were tied at 8/8 when Klaasen stepped to the line for a second serve. Kontinen took advantage of the softer offering, though, slapping a backhand that Ram couldn’t handle at the net. On the next point, Peers struck a service winner down the T for their biggest title to date.
Jeff Coetzee, touring coach of Klaasen/Ram said that his charges always knew the final was going to be a tough challenge. ‘Obviously there is disappointment in the camp especially with the final being so close. After yesterday’s semi-final performance against new world number one pair Jamie Murray/Bruno Soares, the momentum was with Raven and Rajeev and I felt that they would have a far better shot at the win today in the final than they had against Kontinen/Peers in the group round-robin.’
Coetzee said the match was very close and was basically decided on one or two points in the deciding match tie-breaker. ‘Raven and Rajeev were holding Kontinen/Peers in the breaker, but at 8/8 Raven played a safer serve and Kontinen aggressively took advantage with his favourite backhand up the line overpowering Rajeev.’
Coetzee ended by saying that he was extremely proud of Klaasen/Ram and their performance not only in the ATP Finals but throughout the season. ‘Raven and Rajeev have had a great consistent season ending the year seventh in the world team rankings and beating every other top team other than Kontinen/Peers throughout the year.’
Kontinen/Peers will receive 1,500 Emirates ATP Doubles Rankings points and split $455,000 in prize money. Klaasen/Ram will receive 800 Emirates ATP Doubles Rankings points and split $245,000.

Photo credit : BLD Communications/ATP World Tour


1 comments
Johan Nel
Johan Nel

I'd put it differently :) They managed to get to the final two in the world in a best of the best contest! Well done guys!