© Bildagentur Zolles KG

Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury lift their second ATP Tour trophy as a team at the Erste Bank Open on Sunday.

Ram/Salisbury Lift Vienna Title, Boost London Chances

Fourth seeds claim second ATP Tour team trophy

Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury increased their chances of qualifying for the Nitto ATP Finals on Sunday, defeating Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo 6-4, 6-7(5), 10-5 to lift the Erste Bank Open trophy.

“Our eyes have been very closely on [London]. So [this win] is huge for us,” said Salisbury. “It has been one of my goals since the start of the year, but even more so in the past few months, to make it to London. That is a massive, massive step to get there.”

The American-British pairing claimed its second ATP Tour title after one hour and 47 minutes, saving both break points they faced against the top seeds. Ram and Salisbury captured their maiden team trophy at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships in March.

Watch Live

The fourth seeds add to their ATP Doubles Race To London total after recording their 36th tour-level victory as a team this season. Ram and Salisbury currently occupy the final qualification position in the Race with 3,490 points, with nearest rivals Henri Kontinen and John Peers holding 3,000 points ahead of the Rolex Paris Masters.

“We are in a hustle for the last few spots in London, so there were a lot of things at stake," said Ram. "You don’t want to talk about it before, but we all know it is there. We have come together well at the end of the season and it is nice to see the work paying off with the results.”

This is the second straight year that Salisbury has captured the Vienna crown. The 27-year-old won last year’s tournament alongside countryman Neal Skupski. Salisbury improves to 4-3 in ATP Tour finals. Ram adds a 19th trophy to his collection after his 34th tour-level championship match.

“It is amazing. I can’t quite believe it,” said Salisbury. “I am not sure what it is about this place, but it obviously brings out the best in me… Huge credit to Rajeev, who has played amazing all week.”

Kubot and Melo were attempting to collect the Vienna trophy for the third time as a team. The 2015 and 2016 champions, who have already qualified for The O2, own a 13-10 team record in tour-level finals.

Ram and Salisbury receive 500 ATP Doubles Ranking points and split €149,010 in prize money. Kubot and Melo gain 300 points and share €72,950.