Ram-Salisbury dig deep for final place at Monte Carlo

Monaco, April 16 (IANS) Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury reached Monte Carlo Masters final in dramatic style as they overcame Rohan Bopanna and Jamie Murray in a semifinal match here on Saturday.
The American-British duo of Ram and Salisbury needed a strong performance to see off their unseeded opponents, who had taken the first set with a solitary break.
The top seeds failed to convert the only break point opportunity they carved out in the match but held their nerve to clinch a 3-6, 7-6(4), 11-9 victory.
Ram and Salisbury’s comeback win was powered by a strong serving performance. They won 82 per cent (31/38) of points behind their first delivery overall, according to Infosys ATP Stats.
The Indo-British duo of Bopanna and Murray won 74 points in the match to Ram and Salisbury’s 67 but were second best at crucial moments on Court Rainier III. Bopanna has a career-high doubles ranking of No. 3 while Murray is a former World No. 1, but the duo was playing as a team for the first time this week.
Ram and Salisbury now face either Colombian sixth seeds Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah or eighth-seeded pairing Marcelo Arevalo and Jean-Julien Rojer in Sunday’s championship match from 11:30am local time (CEST).
If the American-British duo can lift its maiden clay-court trophy in Monte Carlo it will cap a perfect week for 29-year-old Salisbury, who became the world’s top-ranked doubles player for the first time in last Monday’s update of the ATP Rankings. He is only the second British player after Murray to achieve that feat.

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