Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury won a final-set tie-break in their third-round match before saving four match points in a two-hour, 58-minute quarter-final marathon at the US Open. The American-British duo bounced back well on Thursday when they defeated Americans Steve Johnson and Sam Querrey 7-6(5), 6-4 to reach the final at Flushing Meadows.
“I don’t know if it frees us up, but certainly you feel match-tough,” Ram said. “You feel like you’re ready to handle whatever is going to come your way.”
The fourth seeds, who lifted the trophy in Toronto last month and emerged victorious at the 2020 Australian Open, did not face a break point and converted their only opportunity to triumph after one hour and 18 minutes.
“Obviously excited to come through,” Salisbury said. “We knew it was going to be a tough match. Very dangerous team. Both have got big games, so if they play well, then it can kind of take it out of your hands. Just happy how we stayed focussed on what we do well.”
Ram and Salisbury have made the semi-finals in five of the past seven majors. This will be their third Grand Slam championship match as a team.
“It helps a lot,” Ram said of their experience deep in majors. “We are feeling like in these positions we have been there before, and now it’s going to be our third final together. I think experience never hurts when you feel like you can draw on something that’s happened before.”
They will next play seventh seeds Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares, who battled past eighth seeds John Peers and Filip Polasek 6-3, 3-6, 6-4. This is Soares’ first tournament since Wimbledon, as the Brazilian underwent surgery to remove his appendix upon arriving at the Tokyo Olympics.
Murray and Soares lifted major trophies together at the Australian Open and US Open in 2016. Soares was also victorious at Flushing Meadows last year alongside Mate Pavic.
This is the first time in the Open Era that two Britons will meet in a major men’s doubles final. Ram and Salisbury beat Murray and Soares in their only previous ATP Head2Head meeting earlier this year in the Australian Open semi-finals.
Did You Know?
Salisbury is trying to become the first man to win men’s doubles and mixed doubles titles in the same year at the US Open since 2010, when Bob Bryan accomplished the feat.