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Doubles delight: Klaasen gives partner Ram birthday win

This is Klaasen/Ram’s fifth title as a team and second of 2017, having also prevailed last month in Delray Beach.

A screengrab of Rajeev Ram and teammate Raven Klaasen, holding the BNP Paribas Open doubles trophy at Indian Wells.

JOHANNESBURG – Rajeev Ram celebrated his 33rd birthday in style on Saturday at the BNP Paribas Open, teaming with Raven Klaasen to defeat eighth seeds Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo 6-7(1), 6-4, 10-8 to take the doubles title in Indian Wells.

The victory gave Klaasen and Ram their first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title as a team.

It’s the first Masters 1,000 title for Ram and second for Klaasen, who previously won in Shanghai in 2015 with Melo.

This is Klaasen/Ram’s fifth title as a team and second of 2017, having also prevailed last month in Delray Beach.

Four of their five matches this fortnight went to a match tie-break.

Klaasen/Ram also have the unique style of recording back-to-back wins in this tournament over Rafael Nadal (partnered with Bernard Tomic) and Novak Djokovic (with Viktor Troicki) in their second-round and quarter-final matches.

Klaasen said: “When you think of one to win and how to win it, this is about as good as it gets. To play two legends of the game that are still playing, Nadal and Djokovic, and then to go all the way to finish the trophy out, is something that I will cherish for a long time.”

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