© Peter Staples/ATP World Tour

Raven Klaasen (L) and Rajeev Ram are the last team standing at the Delray Beach Open.

Klaasen/Ram Prevail In Delray Beach

Second seeds fight through difficult draw to take the title

Second seeds Raven Klaasen and Rajeev Ram picked up their first ATP World Tour doubles title of 2017 on Sunday at the Delray Beach Open, prevailing in a tight 7-5, 7-5 final over third seeds Treat Huey and Max Mirnyi.

“It seems like I’m just the sideshow here in Delray Beach. I just have to make sure I’m not the reason we’re losing matches!” joked Klaasen. “I think Rajeev and I have done some good things to improve our games and this week was another progression for us as a team. The crowd has been great all week. People really enjoy their doubles here and that makes it fun for us."

The South African-American pair earned their fourth ATP World Tour doubles title as a team, winning in 2015 and 2016 at the Gerry Weber Open and last year at the Chengdu Open They improved their FedEx ATP Head2Head against Huey/Mirnyi to 2-0, adding to their win in the semi-finals of last year’s Miami Open presented by Itau. Both players have excelled before in Delray, with Ram winning the 2011 doubles title with Scott Lipsky and Klaasen finishing runner-up in 2015 with Leander Paes. Ram has also enjoyed singles success here with a runner-up showing last year (l. Querrey).

“I think the conditions here suit my game pretty well," said Ram. "For whatever reason, I’ve played some of my better tennis here and that carried into this week. We played four decent matches against some good teams.”

Klaasen couldn’t take his chance to serve out the set at 5-4, but the second seeds responded with an immediate break in the next game before Ram comfortably held to grab the early lead. The second seeds rallied from 1-3 down in the second set, breaking Huey/Mirnyi once again at 5-5 and converting on their fourth match point to come out on top in one hour and 30 minutes.

Klaasen/Ram pick up 250 Emirates ATP Doubles Rankings points and split a cheque for $29,010. Huey/Mirnyi, who were also competing in their first ATP World Tour final of the season, earn 150 Emirates ATP Doubles Rankings points and split $15,250.

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