South Africa’s top doubles player Raven Klaasen made a strong start to his 2019 season with Kiwi partner winning their first match at the Auckland Open in New Zealand on Tuesday.
Klaasen and Michael Venus beat Briton Dominic Inglot and his Croatian partner Franko Skugor 6-3 6-3 to book their place in the quarterfinal on Thursday.
They will go up against Argentinian Guido Pella and Portugal’s Joao Sousa in the next round of the ATP 250 tournament.
The SA-Kiwi duo will be looking to build on the success of their first year as a doubles partnership.
They reached last year’s ATP Finals finishing among the top-eight partnerships of 2018.
Klaasen and the New Zealander gelled from the start, winning the Open 13 title in France in February 2018.
They reached four more finals on the ATP Tour, including Wimbledon and the Canadian Masters.
In their latest performance, they showed good form by reaching the trophy battle at the Japan Open, a 500 Series tournament in Tokyo earlier this month.
They will be looking for a better showing at this year’s Australian Open starting next week after they suffered a first-round 7-6 (16/14), 7-6 (7/4) defeat to Spaniard David Marrero and American Scott Lipsky.