Ram & Salisbury Go Back-To-Back In Turin
The American-British duo downed Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos 6-3, 6-4 to successfully defend their title at the prestigious season finale in Turin. Ram and Salisbury delivered a rock-solid all-around performance to wrap a 69-minute triumph and extend their winning streak inside the Pala Alpitour to 10 matches.
“I don’t know what to say, to be honest,” said Ram after the match. “We love this place. This is the biggest tournament we play on the ATP calendar all year and to win it twice in a row is something I never would have thought of and I’m so proud of.”
Salisbury added: “I think we’ve got better throughout the week. I think that was our best match, maybe along with the semi-final yesterday. I think we’ve served well and not got broken many times. We did that really well and managed to take the few chances we had today. I think we got a little bit of luck as well, but it seems like we get it in this place.”
Prior to the US Open, Ram and Salisbury had endured a modest season by their standards. They held a 20-16 record on the year heading into the season’s final major and were 16th in the Pepperstone ATP Live Doubles Teams Rankings.
Since the start of their New York campaign, however, the pair roared back to form. They won 17 of the 19 tour-level matches in that period, clinching the title at Flushing Meadows for the third consecutive year before becoming champions in Vienna and reaching the semi-finals in Paris. After their Turin triumph, Ram and Salisbury will end the year in third in the Pepperstone ATP Live Doubles Teams Rankings.
“We definitely didn’t have a great first half of the year, and sometimes you need a bit of a shock, some tough times, to kind of kick you into gear and get you back to knowing what you were doing well, and how you were winning," Salisbury later told ATPTour.com. "We managed to do that and we’ve kept it going for a little bit, which is nice.”
The sixth seeds certainly played like a team full of confidence on Sunday afternoon as they used the pace of the Pala Alpitour court to their advantage with some razor-sharp returning. A Ram return winner against Granollers’ serve on a deciding point clinched the only break of the first set in the fourth game, and they broke through against the Spaniard’s delivery again for a 4-3 lead in the second before serving out for victory.
“I think the conditions are one thing, but we seem to be able to play some of our best tennis at the biggest events, and this is one of the biggest events we have," said Ram. "I think that’s also part of it. We really get up for it, we really try and peak for these ones and we’re really proud of that achievement actually.”
Defeat on Sunday for Granollers and Zeballos also confirmed Ivan Dodig and Austin Krajicek as the Year-End ATP Doubles No. 1 presented by Pepperstone winning team. Spaniard Granollers and Argentine Zeballos could have made a last-ditch jump to claim the coveted honour but needed to lift the trophy to overhaul Croatian Dodig and American Krajicek.