Klaasen & McLachlan Complete Dream Debut In Cologne

Raven Klaasen and Ben McLachlan (photo: bett1HULKS Championship/Paul Zimmer)

PRETORIA/COLOGNE, October 26, 2020 (South African Tennis Press Release)

South African tennis star Raven Klaasen and his new Japanese partner Ben McLachlan won the bett1HULKS Championship, an ATP 250 event on their team debut, defeating two-time Roland Garros champions Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies 6-2, 6-4 on Sunday for the trophy.

“It was a fun match to play. I want to thank my partner Ben. It was our first week together, had a lot of fun out here,” Klaasen said during the trophy ceremony. “We were very fortunate today for things to go our way. We played probably the hottest team on Tour right now in these guys.”

The unseeded tandem did not drop a set at the ATP 250 tournament inside the Lanxess Arena, including wins against fourth seeds Jürgen Melzer and Edouard Roger-Vasselin as well as Australian Open finalists Max Purcell and Luke Saville.

They faced a stiff test in the championship match against Krawietz and Mies, who have qualified for the Nitto ATP Finals for the second consecutive year. Klaasen and McLachlan let slip one break advantage in the second set and they nearly did so again when serving for the match at 5-4, 15-40 in the second set. But the champions won three consecutive points to secure victory in 74 minutes.

“It was a pleasure to play with Raven. Today he just came up with the goods,” McLachlan said. “It’s been a lot of fun and [I] really enjoyed this one.”

Klaasen and McLachlan saved 10 of the 11 break points they faced and converted all four break points they earned against the Germans. Klaasen has now won an ATP Tour trophy in eight consecutive years, and McLachlan is a six-time tour-level titlist. They earned 250 FedEx ATP Doubles Ranking points and split €6,030.

Krawietz and Mies lost their first ATP Tour final, falling to 4-1 in championship matches. The Germans were trying to claim their first trophy on home soil. The third seeds depart Cologne with 150 points and a share of €5,000.