ATP Washington: Raven Klaasen, Ben McLachlan win first title in 2021

South African Raven Klaasen and Japanese Ben McLachlan beat Neal Skupski and Michael Venus to capture the Washington doubles title. 

Klaasen and McLachlan, seeded at No. 4, overcame Skupski and Venus in straight sets 7-6 (4) 6-4 in the Washington final. 

Klaasen and McLachlan failed to convert any of their two break points in the seventh game and then ended up losing their serve in the eighth game. 

However, they kept their focus as they broke back Skupski and Venus in the ninth game. 

As no more break points were seen, the first set had to be resolved in a tie-break.

Skupski and Venus paid the price for failing to serve out for the opener in the ninth game as Klaasen and McLachlan took an early 6-1 lead in the tie-break before realizing their fourth set point to win a tight opener. 

Skupski and Venus were pressuring the serve of Klaasen and McLachlan in the second set but failed to get a break. 

Klaasen and McLachlan saved a total of eight break points in three games, before claiming the lone break of the second set in the 10th game. 

Klaasen ‘thrilled’ after winning Washington 

“It is a fantastic feeling,” Klaasen said, per the ATP website. “To finally get over that hump, as we have lost a couple of semi-finals, it is nice to have finished it off. Especially here in Washington, where I won the title in 2019, it was nice to come out here and do it again. In the second set we were hanging on for dear life and we were probably the worse team. But being together for a year now, the experience probably helps.

“With this scoring system, you know things can change in a heartbeat. We have been on the receiving end of a few losses like this. We made a couple of key returns at 3-5 in the first set to stay alive and fortunately today it worked out for us. You have to hang in until the end of the set.”

Klaasen and McLachlan, who won their first tram.title at Cologne 2 last year, now have two titles in their collection.