By PHILIP CHANDLER
Queenstown tennis pro Ben McLachlan and a veteran South African player have won a doubles tournament in Germany’s Cologne on their team debut.
In the final last Sunday, McLachlan, 28 and Raven Klaasen, 38, beat the pairing of Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies, 6-2, 6-4.
Their opponents not only hail from Germany — Mies, in fact, is from Cologne — but also recently completed back-to-back French Open victories.
The unranked Queenstowner and South African, who didn’t drop a set all tournament, beat the recent St Petersburg Open winners in the quarters and this year’s Australian Open finalists, Aussies Max Purcell and Luke Saville, in the semis.
After winning the final, and saving 10 of the 11 break points they faced, Klaasen paid tribute to his partner, whom he’d invited to join him, and said ‘‘we have probably played the hottest team on the tour right now with these
McLachlan in turn praised Klaasen.
‘‘Today he just offered the merchandise.
‘‘It was a lot of fun and [I] really enjoyed this one.’’
McLachlan’s dad Craig says his son was ‘‘pretty pumped’’ when they spoke afterwards.
He describes Klaasen as ‘‘a really crafty, clever veteran’’.
After performing averagely in the US and French Opens, McLachlan split with his partner, Englishman Luke Bambridge.
For the St Petersburg Open in Russia, earlier this month, he teamed up with Croatian Franko Skugor and made the semis.
This week the pair’s reuniting for the Astana Open in Kazakhstan, where they’re seeded fourth.