A late-season surge ended in spectacular fashion for Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury on Sunday at the Nitto ATP Finals.
The American-British duo downed Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos 6-3, 6-4 to successfully defend their title at the prestigious season finale in Turin. Ram and Salisbury delivered a rock-solid all-around performance to wrap a 69-minute triumph and extend their winning streak inside the Pala Alpitour to 10 matches.
Prior to the US Open, Ram and Salisbury had endured a modest season by their standards. They held a 20-16 record on the year heading into the season’s final major and were 16th in the Pepperstone ATP Live Doubles Teams Rankings.
Since the start of their New York campaign, however, the pair roared back to form. They won 17 of the 19 tour-level matches in that period, clinching the title at Flushing Meadows for the third consecutive year before becoming champions in Vienna and reaching the semi-finals in Paris. After their Turin triumph, Ram and Salisbury will end the year in third in the Pepperstone ATP Live Doubles Teams Rankings.
The sixth seeds certainly played like a team full of confidence on Sunday afternoon as they used the pace of the Pala Alpitour court to their advantage with some razor-sharp returning. A Ram return winner against Granollers’ serve on a deciding point clinched the only break of the first set in the fourth game, and they broke through against the Spaniard’s delivery again for a 4-3 lead in the second before serving out for victory.