The ATP Finals’ men’s doubles championship was won by second seeds Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury on Sunday after a strong performance that saw them defeat Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic.
The American-British team defeated the Croatians in a high-caliber final by scores of 7-6(4), 6-4, capping up their season in northern Italy in fine fashion.
Ram becomes the 18th American to claim the ATP Finals doubles championship, while Salisbury becomes the first British champion. As unbeaten winners, the duo has amassed the largest doubles payoff in history, 1,500 ATP Doubles Rankings points, and 930,300 USD.
That’s most likely on par with one of our greatest games, one of our best games as a team. We should be really proud of everything we accomplished this week, in my opinion. We have persevered through a number of challenging circumstances by working as a team. Salisbury remarked, “I’m so excited, I can’t believe we did this.
Ram and Salisbury have now won nine tour-level championships as a team, surpassing their final-round opponent Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut.
With a 37-14 record overall, the duo had a spectacular season in which they won ATP Masters 1000 titles in Monte Carlo and Cincinnati and won their third Grand Slam championship at the US Open.
Ram and Salisbury overcame Mektic and Pavic in the semi-finals of the tournament in Turin last year, and with this victory, they have now outscored them 3-4 in their ATP Head to Head series.
In the opening set, which went to a tie-break, both sides had solid serving performances, with little opportunities presented on returns. Ram and Salisbury upped their depth on return in the tie-break and stayed strong overhead, executing volleys and smashes to advance. Ram and Salisbury, who saved the sole break point of the set at 1-1, also saved the match’s only other break point.
The second seeds then broke early in the second set to take the lead and expand their margin of victory by taking advantage of two double faults by Pavic. After that, Ram and Salisbury quickly finished their service games and sealed an emotional victory by winning 84% (16/19) of the points behind their initial delivery.
Ram joins Stan Smith, Arthur Ashe, John McEnroe, Peter Fleming, Bob Bryan, and Mike Bryan as the 18th Americans to win the doubles title in the year-end competition.
This week in Turin, Mektic and Pavic were vying for their sixth tour-level championship of the year. Together, they won an ATP Masters 1000 match in Rome. They also won matches in Geneva, Eastbourne, Astana, The Queen’s Club in London, and other cities.