2020 Nitto ATP Finals: Salisbury and Ram beaten in second group match


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Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram in action during their second match at the 2020 Nitto ATP FInals

Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram will have to win their final group game to advance to the semi-finals of this year’s Nitto ATP Finals after losing to the in-form Wesley Koolhof and Nikola Mektić 7-6 (5), 6-0.

The American-British duo were victorious in their opening encounter against Marcelo Melo and Lukasz Kubot, but they faced a tougher challenge today against a pairing who beat them in the semi-finals of this year’s US Open.

Despite giving their opponents chances in their opening service games, Ram and Salisbury improved on serve during a tight first set where break point opportunities were limited on both sides, leading to a tie-break.

After going down a mini break an exceptional Salisbury cross-court backhand winner from an acute angle looked as if it could ignite his team’s challenge, but after letting a couple of chances slide Koolhof and Mektic earned three set points.

Salisbury and Ram saved two, but it was eventually a gutsy kick-serve, on second serve, from Mektic that proved to be too fast for Ram and after he parried into the net the Dutch-Croatian duo won the tie-break 7-5.

Buoyed by their tie-break success it was one-way traffic in the second set. Despite saving multiple break points Ram was broken at the start of the second, and before he knew it his team were down a double break after a huge double-handed backhand return from Koolhof took a game off the Salisbury serve.

After that it was plain sailing for Koolhof and Mektic who have won both their opening matches and are the first team into the semi-finals in London.

Ram and Salisbury will need to beat the German pairing of Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies in their final group match if they are to join them in the last four. 

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