Ram/Salisbury Ease Through In Miami
Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury notched a confidence-boosting first-round win on Thursday at the Miami Open presented by Itau, where the second seeds downed Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini 6-4, 6-3.
The American-British pair clinched a late break of serve at the tailend of both sets to earn a 73-minute triumph as the doubles action began at the ATP Masters 1000 event in southern Florida. Ram and Salisbury also saved all three break points they faced to prevail in what was a tough opening test against six-time tour-level titlists Bolelli and Fognini.
The win was Ram and Salisbury’s first at Tour-level since the Australian Open in January. The 2022 Nitto ATP Finals champions are now 4-0 in first-round matches in Miami, where their best showing is a semi-final run in 2021.
The three-time Masters 1000 titlists will take on Tommy Paul and Ben Shelton or Martin Damm and Shang Juncheng in the second round as they chase their first ATP Tour title of 2023.
Also on Thursday, Nathaniel Lammons and Jackson Withrow held their nerve in a pair of tie-breaks to down Gonzalo Escobar and Fabien Reboul 7-6(2), 7-6(4). The American duo won 92 per cent (33/36) of points behind their first serve to prevail in a 97-minute first-round clash that was dominated by serve.
It was a fifth consecutive win for Lammons and Withrow after they lifted the trophy at an ATP Challenger Tour event in Phoenix last week. They will now prepare for a second-round clash against fourth seeds Marcelo Arevalo and Jean-Julien Rojer or Jamie Murray and Michael Venus.
There was a successful reunion on the doubles court for Top 50 singles stars Alexander Bublik and Miomir Kecmanovic, who defeated Pedro Cachin and Francisco Cerundolo 6-3, 6-3. Bublik and Kecmanovic last partnered at a Challenger Tour event in Kazakhstan in 2018, and will now meet fifth seeds Lloyd Glasspool and Harri Heliovaara or Maxime Cressy and Andreas Mies in the second round.
Americans Tommy Paul and Ben Shelton rallied from a set down to defeat Martin Damm and Shang Juncheng 6-7(7), 6-3, 10-8.