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Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury will try to win their first Nitto ATP Finals title this year.

Former World No. 1 Bjorkman Previews The London Doubles Field

The Swedish star competed in the season finale eight times in doubles and once in singles

Jonas Bjorkman won the Nitto ATP Finals title twice in doubles, accomplishing the feat 12 years apart (1994 and 2006). The Swede competed in doubles at the season finale eight times and also played in the singles field in 1997, when he defeated Yevgeny Kafelnikov and Michael Chang en route to the semi-finals. 

The former doubles World No. 1 will be analysing this year's Nitto ATP Finals action for Eurosport. But before the action begins on Sunday, he spoke to ATPTour.com about what to expect from each of the eight doubles teams competing in London.

Mate Pavic and Bruno Soares
“The Brazilian boys are the consistent guys. [In this case it’s Bruno]. He’s relaxed, you know what to expect. You always know they’re going to make a lot of balls and their partner is going to be more up and down, maybe not as consistent. But when they play well, that’s a tough team to beat. You’ve got the lefty-righty, which is a great combination as well. They’re playing with a lot of experience. They’ve now won Grand Slams together and with different partners.”

 

Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury
“I definitely think it has helped a lot that they have one guy who is a little bit older, so you’ve got the experience and you have the young guy coming up. They’ve both been focussing on doubles the past couple of years… Ram has been around a long time and played good singles as well, so he knows what it takes. Both of them are kind of flashy. They’re a little bit streaky, but they’ve also been showing some good consistency the past two years since they started playing together. It seems like they’ve been finding each other nicely… They’ve just been getting better and better and they’re definitely a team I like to watch to see how they’re playing.”

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Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies
“What’s amazing is that they disappeared a little bit after they won Roland Garros last year. They had a few good results, but you couldn’t see the consistency… Then [they won] won back-to-back [Roland Garros titles], which is an amazing accomplishment. It will be interesting to see how they adjust to the future after winning the French Open again.”

“I think winning now, they will probably take the next step forward and be a little bit more consistent and be a contender to win more big tournaments in the future… The ones who have won the big ones [this year] obviously have a little bit more confidence just out of that and going in to play the [Nitto] ATP Finals is the biggest achievement with a full year. They won a Slam, so they really deserve to be in the top eight and I think they can be one of those outsiders who are really dangerous for every team out there.”

Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos
“You’d probably expect them to play better on the slow surfaces, but at the same time… neither one of them plays a typical clay-court game for being a Spaniard and South American. In a way, I’m not surprised that they do well on the hard courts. They’ve been around a long time. They’ve proven their all-around game, which they needed to play well in singles. They’re two really nice guys. It’s great to see that they’re doing well in doubles as well.”

Nikola Mektic and Wesley Koolhof
“I had the opportunity to follow Mektic quite a lot on the way up, because he’s good friends with Marin Cilic. When I coached Marin, Mektic was around and they even played together, because he needed Marin in that way to get into tournaments. He’s a hard worker like all the Croatians. He knows what it takes and has a good fighting spirit on the court. He’s just been getting better and better each year and has had some really good results. As a team, it seems they’ve just connected really well… They have adjusted well to play with different partners [in the past], which is always a strength. The better you are at adjusting to play with different players, the better doubles player you are. It’s a good combo and they were really close to going all the way to win Slams this year, so I think they’ve got a chance to do really well.”

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John Peers and Michael Venus
“It’s a good combo. They are two guys who know how to play doubles. They come from countries that have great tradition, especially Peers with the Australian tradition of how to play doubles. We’ve had so many great champions from Down Under. Venus I’d say came as a little bit of a surprise, but after he came up quickly and progressed, he’s been very consistent to stay up near the top [of the sport] and has done that really, really well the past couple of years. That’s a team that maybe needs a little bit of confidence to play well, but when they play their best tennis they definitely have a shot to beat everyone.”

Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo
“I would say it’s a great combination. You’ve got Lukasz, who is playing very aggressive. He’s hitting the ball extremely hard. He goes for it all the time. Then you have Melo who is a tricky player with his great touch. He has a huge advantage at the net with his height. I think it’s a good mix. He probably plays his returns a bit softer to get Kubot involved and the same with Melo at the net. He wants to get involved as much as he can. It’s a tough team to beat, especially when Kubot is on fire.”

Jurgen Melzer and Edouard Roger-Vasselin
“Two old guys who I know very well and I hope they don’t get offended by being the old guys! It almost felt like they were going to retire, but they have come back strong and I think maybe with family life you change a little bit of the mentality. You play a little bit more relaxed, maybe you can enjoy the tennis a bit more and the results are coming. I think it’s a good way to finish for Jurgen [who announced he is retiring after the 2021 Australian Open]. He had a great career. These two guys both played singles and doubles as well, not only doubles. They are very solid in both departments.”