US Open 2023: Salisbury & Ram reach third straight men’s doubles final
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Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram are into their third consecutive men’s doubles final at Flushing Meadows thanks to a 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 win over second seeds Ivan Dodig and Austin Krajicek in two hours and 17 minutes.
Salisbury and Ram have become the first doubles partnership to make three US Open men’s doubles finals in a row since Todd Woodbrige and Mark Woodforde from 1994 to 1996. No team has won three consecutive titles in the Open Era.
They are now on a 17-match unbeaten streak in New York and will aim to make it 18 as they face Matthew Ebden and Rohan Bopanna in Friday’s final.
"We knew it was going to be tough and we lost the second set, but we knew we were going to keep going and fight on," said Salisbury. "We're really happy to keep going and reach the final again.
"It's pretty amazing (reaching a third final), we didn't think we'd be here but there's something special about this place and it brings out the best in us."
"It's been a tough year and to play this level and stick together, we probably beat one of the best teams this year," said an emotional Ram after the match.
Both sides looked comfortable coming out of the gate – holding with ease and beginning to feel out their opponents, waiting for their opportunity to arrive.
It would have to take a moment of brilliance to break the deadlock – and Salisbury was up to the challenge. The world No.6 hit a brace of inch perfect backhand returns to set up triple break point on the Dodig serve at 4-4 and it was only right that the Brit would be the one to close out the game – placing the ball beyond the reach of the outstretched Croatian to take the first break of the match.
The stand-out player in the first set, Salisbury held to love on his next service game to give the reigning champions a one set advantage.
The second started in similar fashion and again it looked like the British, American pair would see it out in straight sets with a break point at 3-3, but Ram’s error on the return proved costly. Having held on, Dodig and Krajicek finally got their breakthrough with a wicked combination of returns, followed by a double fault from the Brit.
Into the third and Salisbury and Ram made no mistake in pulling ahead. Both players kissed the outside tramlines with back-to-back winners to give themselves a 2-0 platform.
High on confidence, the three-time Grand Slam champions hit another gear - with Salisbury once again proving the most dominant player on the court. The duo lost just five points on serve the rest of the way - booking their place in an historic final.