Second seeds Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury claimed a thrilling victory in the longest doubles match of the week to see off Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies and seal their first Nitto ATP Finals semi-final berth as a team.

Ram and Salisbury had come up just short in their team debut last year after amassing a 1-2 record in the round-robin stage. They were determined to improve in 2020 as they started their campaign in London with a victory over former finalists Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo, but things got complicated as they lost in straight sets to US Open finalists Wesley Koolhof and Nikola Mektic.

“Obviously so, so happy to come through that there and get through to the semi-finals,” Salisbury said. “Last year we had a similar situation of having won one and lost one, and then it went to a third-set tie-break and we lost out in that one. So to come through today is a great feeling.

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“We had to fight so hard to get through that, I think everyone was feeling the nerves at the start. In that first set, it wasn’t the highest quality match, but then it got better and better throughout. We stayed strong and played a great tie-break in the end.”

The result was a winner-moves-on shootout against Krawietz and Mies to determine the second semi-finalists out of Group Mike Bryan. Ram and Salisbury stayed solid as they rallied to save two set points to take the opening set, and recovered emphatically after dropping the second to pull away in the Match Tie-break, 7-6(5), 6-7(4), 10-4.

The Australian Open champions now join tournament debutants Koolholf and Mektic in the semi-finals, after the fifth seeds clinched the top spot out of Group Mike Bryan on Wednesday. Both teams are still in contention to finish the year at the top of the FedEx ATP No. 1 Doubles Team Rankings.



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