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LTA Home Fan Zone Nitto ATP Finals 2021 Nitto ATP Finals: Salisbury and Ram win opening clash in Turin

Nitto ATP Finals

Pala alpitour, turin, italy 14 - 21 November 2021

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joe salisbury and rajeev ram on court shaking hands
International

2021 Nitto ATP Finals: Salisbury and Ram win opening clash in Turin

• 3 MINUTE READ

Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram come through a thrilling opening match at the Nitto ATP Finals, defeating Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares 6-1, 7-6(5) in an hour and 26 minutes.

In a repeat of the 2021 US Open final, Salisbury and Ram extended their winning record over Murray and Soares to three matches and have taken an early lead in the Red Group standings in Turin.

The win marked their 100th victory together as a pair on the ATP Tour.

The second seeds dominated the first set and looked very comfortable playing in their third consecutive finals.

At 15-15 on Murray’s serve, Salisbury found the line with a wonderful forehand winner down the line, which set up break points after a double fault from the 35-year-old. Salisbury and Ram took their chance on the second time of asking and raced to an early lead.

A near perfect serving game from Salisbury put the British-American duo 3-0 up, having only dropped three points in the match.

Soares got the seventh seeds on the board with a strong service game and set up a break point after pouncing on Ram’s serve with a whipped cross court winner. The deuce deciding point proved to be a pivotal moment in the set – Soares couldn’t capitalise on a Ram second serve and the US Open champions secured the hold.

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Murray – who elected to serve first – struggled once again to get any momentum going at 4-1. Salisbury and Ram played with brilliant variety throughout the first set, both from the baseline and the net, which prevented Murray and Soares from getting into any sort of rhythm.

The second seeds wasted no time in clinching their second break and wrapped up the set to love off the World No.3’s serve.

Murray and Soares have been in fine form over the last month, winning the title in St Petersburg and reaching the semi-finals in Paris, and showed their quality in the second set.

Murray showed some fast reactions to tuck away a couple of key volleys and take the first game and at 1-1, he found his range on serve. A difficult net cord mid-way through the game threatened to disrupt the Brit’s flow, but Murray kept his cool to hold for the first time in the match.

Neither team could find a way to pull away despite break point opportunities on both sides.

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Salisbury came up with fantastic solo effort to recover three break points and then with momentum shifting the other way at 2-2, it was Soares’ turn to hold his own in the pressure points, to keep the set on serve.

Both sides traded holds as Murray and Soares continued to be grow in confidence, trying to get themselves back on level terms.

Towards the end of the set there was a sense that Salisbury was looking to catch fire again and he picked his moment perfectly. He held to force the tie-break and was flying around the court in the opening points and picked up the early break.

An inspired tweener from Soares off a Salisbury lob set gave the British-Brazilian duo a much-needed point and they hung in there to keep the scores close.

In the end though Salisbury and Ram proved too strong – it took a sensational backhand from Soares to save a first match point but second time of asking, Ram rifled a clean return winner to seal their opening victory.

The schedule for the next matches is still yet to be announced, but both pairs will face either Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah, or Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicholas Mahut.

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