Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
1 minute read
27 Jan 2014
6:12 am

We were outplayed, says Klaasen of final

Wesley Botton

Doubles specialist Raven Klaasen admitted he and his partner, American Eric Butorac, were outplayed in the Australian Open final at the weekend.

FILE PIC. Raven Klaasen during the South African practice session at Arthur Ashe Stadium on April 02, 2012 in Soweto, South Africa.Photo by Reg Caldecott / Gallo Images

Klaasen and Butorac, who had stormed into the final with convincing victories over tough opponents at Melbourne Park, went down 6-3, 6-3 against Lukasz Kubot of Poland and Robert Lindstedt of Sweden on Saturday. “We gave it our all, but it was just not good enough on the day,” Klaasen said.

“The 14th seeds played really well and gave us little chance.”

The South African veteran, who reached a Grand Slam final for the first time, said the unseeded duo were outplayed in every facet of the game. “Overall they served and returned so well. We should have put more pressure on Lindstedt when he got tight.

“Lindstedt was the best server and Kubot the best returner on court – and we didn’t really feature, so that’s where it went wrong.

“Eric and I were not the best server or receiver, and when Lindstedt started serving well he got confidence in all other aspects of his game – which made it tough.”

Klaasen was surprised by the support he received back home throughout the tournament, which included a phone call from Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula.

“It was overwhelming, yet so important for Eric and I. It really helped us.”

He will return to South Africa today to link up with his national teammates ahead of this week’s Davis Cup tie against Monaco in Centurion.

“Now my focus is on the Davis Cup at Irene country club,” Klaasen said.

“Our schedule after that will consist of ATP 1000 and 500 events – and after the Davis Cup we will be heading to the United States.”

Meanwhile, Lucas Sithole lost to American David Wagner in the men’s wheelchair quad singles final. Sithole, who won last year’s US Open, took the first set, but Wagner fought back to win 3-6, 7-5, 6-3.