© CitiOpen

Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus level their FedEx ATP Head2Head series at 1-1 against Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau.

Klaasen/Venus Capture Second ATP 500 Title Of 2019 In D.C.

Klaasen earns 250th tour-level win

Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus lifted their third ATP Tour title as a team on Sunday, beating Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau 3-6, 6-3, 10-2 at the Citi Open.

Klaasen and Venus, who claimed three of their four victories this week in Match Tie-breaks, dropped just four points behind their first serves (30/34) to take the title after 74 minutes. The third seeds have now lifted two ATP 500 trophies this year, having also triumphed at the NOVENTI OPEN in June.

Klaasen and Venus, who contested their 100th tour-level match as a team in the semi-finals, defeated Roland Garros champions Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies, Andy Murray and Jamie Murray and second seeds Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo en route to the championship match. This victory marked Klaasen’s 250th tour-level doubles win.

“When the draw first came out, everybody was looking at that like, ‘Man, there's no easy way out through this thing.’ You had to be ready from day one,” said Klaasen. “For us, every day felt like a final, pretty much.

”We snuck through a couple of Match Tie-breaks this week… If you had asked me what the chances were of us sitting here today at the beginning of the week, it would have been a stretch to imagine given the strength of the field.”

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The 36-year-old South African now owns 16 tour-level doubles crowns. Venus adds a 10th tour-level trophy to his collection. Klaasen and Venus claimed three straight games from 3-3 in the second set, before dominating the Match Tie-break. Klaasen fired a cross-court backhand return winner to clinch the title.

“Raven took off there and I was trying to hang on to his coattails through that [Match] Tie-break,” said Venus. “Throughout the match, they were serving really well… We just had to back ourselves, try and be aggressive and hopefully something comes of it.

“At 4-3, we both made some great returns that game and that gave us some confidence. And then I think Raven's confidence just continued to go up each time he touched the ball after that.”

Rojer and Tecau were bidding to capture their 20th tour-level title as a team. The Dutch-Romanian duo lifted the title in the American capital in 2014, beating Sam Groth and Leander Paes in the championship match.

Klaasen and Venus earn 500 ATP Doubles Ranking points and split $123,000 in prize money. Rojer and Tecau receive 300 points and share $60,200.