Ram/Salisbury Keep The Heat In Melbourne
Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury are on the hunt for consecutive Grand Slam doubles titles, and they kept that target within their sights Monday, defeating wild cards Dane Sweeny and Li Tu 6-4, 6-4 to reach the quarter-finals at the Australian Open.
The 2021 US Open champions, who also triumphed together at Melbourne Park in 2020, dropped just one point behind their first serve in the match and offered their Australian opponents no breathing room on John Cain Arena.
Ram and Salisbury hit 21 winners and made just three unforced errors in a solid all-round performance as they advanced to the last eight in Melbourne for the third year in a row.
Matthew Ebden and Max Purcell made it two all-Aussie pairings in the quarter-finals by upsetting 13th seeds Raven Klaasen and Ben McLachlan 7-6(3), 6-3. Ebden and Purcell fired 27 winners, including nine aces and claimed the only break of the match in the second set to defeat the South African-Japanese pairing, joining countrymen Thanasi Kokkinakis and Nick Kyrgios in the last eight.
Ebden and Purcell will next face 10th seeds Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski. The Dutch-British tandem has already claimed two tour-level titles since coming together at the start of 2022, triumphing at the Melbourne Summer Set and the Adelaide International 2. The good form shows no sign of abating as Koolhof and Skupski hit 22 winners and won 81 per cent (29/36) of their first-serve en route to a 6-3, 6-4 win against Marcos Giron and Soonwoo Kwon.