2020 Nitto ATP Finals: Salisbury and Ram through to semi-finals

19/11/2020

| Barclays ATP World Tour Finals

Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram advanced to the semi-finals at the Nitto ATP Finals for the first time as a pair, after beating Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies 7-6(5), 6-7(4), 10-4.

The Australian Open doubles champions had to fight hard in an incredibly close match against the Germans but came out on top in the deciding match in the Mike Bryan group to seal the second qualifying spot. The pair will wait until tomorrow to find out who they will face on Saturday.

Both teams came into the match with the tournament on the line and it showed in the opening exchanges. The match certainly felt like it had an added edge to it, with break point opportunities on both sides to kick off proceedings.

It was the Germans who drew first blood after Andreas Mies ripped a cross-court backhand return winner at deuce on Salisbury’s serve to take the lead.

This began a series of breaks until Krawietz and Mies eventually managed to hold and from there certainly looked the more comfortable of the pairs, especially around the net. At 5-4 they had the chance to serve it out for the first set, but Salisbury and Ram would not go down easily and after yet another extraordinary point on deuce, they clawed their way back into the match.

The opener went to a tie-break, where yet again there was little to split between the sides. As the first pair to serve, Salisbury and Ram felt like they had the edge all the way through and a double fault from Krawietz at 5-5 proved the difference. It was advantage to the British-American duo.

No time for celebrations though as the Germans got straight back to it, securing the early hold and putting more pressure back on the Salisbury serve again, forcing the leaders to save three break points. A reminder from the Roland Garros champions that they weren’t going away without a fight.

Both sides served well throughout the remainder of the set, dropping few points and keeping their composure in tight moments. Yet another tie-break loomed ahead.

In a match this close, the minor details become the biggest deciders and that proved to be the case. A forehand from Krawietz at 5-4 looked to be blistering its way at the Brit, who ducked out the way, missing the ball as it came off the net and dropped by him. After an error on the next point it was level at 1-1.

The best players turn up in the biggest moments and Salisbury and Ram were up to the challenge. The duo commanded the deciding tie-break and never took their foot off the gas and powered on to a 10-4 win.

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