Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram defend US Open doubles title with hard-fought victory

Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram became only the second team in the Open era to successfully defend their doubles title at the US Open.

With Neal Skupski and his Dutch partner Wesley Koolhof on the other side of the net, a British winner was guaranteed and it was London’s Salisbury and American Ram who settled in a close 7-6 (4 ) 7-5 duel.

It’s a third Grand Slam title together for Ram and Salisbury, who also won the Australian Open in 2020, and they’re following in the footsteps of Australian greats Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde, the last team to win back-to-back titles in New York in 1995 and 1996.

The win also means Salisbury, who has also won two mixed doubles titles, remains number one in the world. Skupski would have passed him if he and Koolhof had lifted the trophy.

Salisbury said: “It’s pretty crazy. I can’t quite believe we’re standing here again. It’s very special to play at this incredible stadium and to have that piece of history, to win that twice in a row is incredible.”

Both British players paid their respects to the Queen, Salisbury with a black armband and Skupski with a black bow tied to his shirt.

As expected, there was little choice between teams throughout Arthur Ashe Stadium. The first set was particularly tight, with a nervous first game from Skupski on serve in his first men’s doubles slam final, the only easy opener until the tiebreak.

Koolhof and Skupski, who have won six titles in a brilliant season, looked to have established a solid 4-1 lead but a good return from Salisbury and Ram helped them grab six straight points to clinch the set.

The first break came in the third game of the second set when Ram dropped serve through consistent pressure from Koolhof and Skupski, but he and Salisbury hit straight back.

The pressure mounted on the runners-up and with Skupski’s serves at 5-6, they set up a first match point, which they scored with a smash from Salisbury. Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram defend US Open doubles title with hard-fought victory

Fry Electronics Team

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