2021 Nitto ATP Finals: Salisbury and Ram finish as runners-up in Turin
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Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram lost a tough final against third seeds Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut 6-4, 7-6(0) at the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin.
The result brings an end to an incredible season for Salisbury and Ram, which saw them win the US Open, their first Masters title in Toronto, finish the season as the World No.2 doubles pair and end as runners-up in the Finals.
Herbert and Mahut repeated their 2019 heroics in lifting the Nitto ATP Finals trophy in a year where they too claimed Grand Slam success at the French open.
Both sides started the match comfortably, winning their opening service games to love, but it didn’t take long for Herbert and Mahut to get the first break.
Mahut clipped the net cord on a backhand return winner at 0-30 to tee up four break points. At the second time of asking the French duo stretched ahead – Herbert placing a forehand between the approaching Salisbury and Ram.
The British-American team had to bring their best level to stave off two break points on Ram’s serve as well, with Herbert and Mahut continuing to ramp up their game.
The third seeds won 100% of points on first serve in the opening set (17/17) – an area where they’ve dominated all week – and held to win the set 6-4.
Salisbury and Ram did their utmost to stay with the Frenchmen in the second serve, winning some crucial deciding points at 2-2 and 3-3 to remain on serve.
Mahut was the star of the show. Stepping up at 5-4 down the 39-year-old showed no signs of his confidence wavering as he launched three unreturnable serves to keep the pressure on Salisbury and Ram as the set went to a tie-break.
In the opening point, Mahut blasted a wicked first return straight at Salisbury and followed it up with a couple of quick easy points on serve. After getting the double mini-break against the Brit’s serve, the match was all but wrapped up as the French pair sealed their second Nitto ATP Finals title.
“It’s been a great year for us, we managed to win a Grand Slam and a Masters event and we would have loved to have capped it off with a win here, but our opponents were just too good on the day,” said Ram.
Salisbury will now head to Austria to join up with the British Davis Cup team for the Finals in Innsbruck.