The dynamic duo of the tennis world kept their hot streak going in the blazing desert sun. Sixth seeds Raven Klaasen and Rajeev Ram fought their way through the tough men’s draw and defeated eighth seeds Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo in a thrilling 6-7 (1), 6-4, 10-8 match to capture the BNP Paribas Open Men’s Doubles title.
Along the way to the finals, Klaasen and Ram defeated the best in professional tennis including teams comprised of 2nd ranked and 12 time Grand Slam winner Novak Djokovic and 6th ranked 14 time Grand Slam winner Rafael Nadal. “This was the first time I played Rafael and I was shocked at how heavy his ball is,” stated Klaasen after the win. “He is such a great champion and amazing athlete. I am honored to have competed with him.”
Earlier in the week, Klaasen and Ram were selected by the San Diego Aviators in the Mylan World TeamTennis draft held during the BNP Paribas Open. While Klaasen is a veteran of the WTT and San Diego Aviators, this is Ram’s first foray into the professional team tennis campaign. “I was very proud of Raven winning the WTT championship with the Aviators last season,” stated Ram. “We have talked a lot about joining up for the WTT in addition to the ATP. I am so happy to be selected by the Aviators and have the chance to play professional team tennis on a championship team. I can’t wait for the season to start this July!”
The San Diego Aviators have made plenty of news off the court as well. The busy week also featured the announcement that San Diego businessman and community activist and Fred Luddy had extended his commitment to professional team tennis beyond his current ownership of the San Diego Aviators. Luddy is now a principal owner of the World TeamTennis league with an eye towards growing the league through investments and expansion.
Aviators. San Diegan for Champions.