Gustavus Adolphus College alumnus Eric Butorac has advanced to the finals of the men’s doubles draw at the Australian Open.
Butorac and his doubles partner Raven Klaasen of South Africa advanced to the finals with a straight set 6-2, 6-4 victory over the No. 8 seeds Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic on Thursday afternoon in Melbourne.
The unseeded duo will meet the 14th seeds, Lukasz Kubol of Poland and Robert Lindstedt of Sweden. The match is set to take place after the women's singles final on Saturday night in Melbourne. That will be about 4 a.m. Saturday Twin Cities time.
The complete Australian Open schedule is here.
Butorac, a native of Rochester, Minn., has been ranked as high as No. 17 in the world in men’s doubles. He has 14 ATP doubles titles to his name with seven different partners. His career at Gustavus included winning the NCAA Division III national championships in both singles and doubles in 2003.
Butorac and Klaasen had to go three sets (6-7, 7-6, 6-4) to win their quarterfinal match against the No. 12 seeded tandem of Treat Huey and Dominic Inglot on Tuesday afternoon.
The victory over Huey and Inglot came a day after Butorac secured the biggest upset victory of his professional career when he and Klaasen took out the No. 1 seeds, Bob and Mike Bryan, in straight sets 7-6, 6-4. The Bryan brothers were not only the defending Australian Open men’s doubles champions, but the most successful doubles team in the Open era with 15 grand slam titles, including six at the Australian Open.
Butorac and Klaasen also received some attention earlier in the tournament when they defeated Australians Lleyton Hewitt and Patrick Rafter in the first round in front of a crowd of 7,000 people at Hisense Arena in what was Rafter’s first match on the ATP Tour since he retired in 2004.