Turin [Italy], November 20 (ANI): The men's doubles duo of Rajeev Ram from USA and British's Joe Salisbury reached the final of the ongoing ATP Finals event in Turin after defeating top seeds Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski in the semifinals.
Ram and Salisbury overcame their opposition by 7-6(7), 6-4. The American-British team went 3-0 in the round-robin stage and followed it with another quality performance in the semis to earn their 36th tour-level win as a pair.
The match was of high quality and swung from one way to the other. The second-seeds saved their best for the most crucial moments. Ram hit winners down the line on return while his partner was also in great touch as he smashed winners from all angles in their one-hour, 39-minute-long final.
Ram-Salisbury were leading by 3-0 in the first set, but their opponents bounced back to level things at 3-3. They then saved one set point on serve at 4-5. The opener moved to tie break, which was won by the American-British duo.
The second seeds continued their momentum in the second set, saving one break point they faced to advance further.
"We are very happy to be through," Salisbury said as quoted by ATP. "I feel we are pretty good at handling whatever any situation we are in. It was tough not closing it out more straightforward in the [first set] tie-break, but we fought hard and got it done eventually. We then stayed focused and played pretty smart and held onto our serve well. We are pretty happy with the performance."
"It is something I have worked really hard on," Ram said when asked about his returning. "It is huge to keep in games and matches and I think it is my most improved area, so I am happy it paid off today."
After losing to Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut in the championship match last season, the duo now aims to lift the trophy.
Ram-Salisbury are in a 3-1 lead over their opponents in head-to-head. They had defeated Koolhof and Skupski in the final of the US Open in September. They are now seeking their fourth-tour-level title of the season after prevailing at ATP Masters 1000 events in Monte Carlo and Cincinnati. (ANI)