Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury sealed a happy return to the Nitto ATP Finals on Monday in Turin.
The 2022 champions at the prestigious season finale overcame Rohan Bopanna and Matthew Ebden 6-3, 6-4 in their opening Red Group match. A single break in each set was enough for Ram and Salisbury to clinch a 61-minute triumph and extend their winning streak at the Pala Alpitour to six matches.
The fast court in Turin appeared tailor-made for Ram and Salisbury during their 2022 title run, and the American-British duo capitalised on the conditions expertly again on Monday with a high-class serving performance. They won 83 per cent (30/36) of points behind first deliveries and saved the only break point they faced at 1-2, 40/40 in the second set.
It was the second time this year that the team’s had clashed on the big stage, after Ram and Salisbury also defeated Bopanna and Ebden in the US Open final in September. The American-British pair is aiming in Turin to become a tour-level champion for the fourth time this season, having also lifted trophies in Lyon and Vienna.
The third-seeded Bopanna and Ebden arrived in Italy having reached the championship match at their past three tournaments — the US Open, the Rolex Shanghai Masters, and the Rolex Paris Masters. India’s Bopanna is a two-time finalist at the Nitto ATP Finals, having reached that stage in London in 2012 and 2015.