Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury edged closer to the semi-finals at the Nitto ATP Finals Tuesday when they downed Lloyd Glasspool and Harri Heliovaara 7-5, 6-4 to improve to 2-0 in Red Group action.
The second seeds defeated Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos in their opening match and backed up that win with a hard-fought victory against the British-Finnish pair.
In an entertaining clash, both teams produced moments of brilliance throughout the 73-minute clash. However, it was Ram and Salisbury who delivered the key blows when it mattered. They were rewarded for their aggressive returning in the 11th game of the first set when they broke for 6-5, before they won 88 per cent (15/17) of their first-service points in the second set to triumph.
"Really happy to get the win,” Salisbury said. “They're a tough team, we've lost to them twice this year. We're happy with everything we did out there. They're a strong serving team, didn't have many chances but we stuck in there and took the chances we had. We were good on serve as well."
“The thing is, they've just gotten better and better over the year,” Ram said. “We knew we were going to be up against it and we had to bring our best level."
Photo Credit: Corinne Dubreuil/ATP Tour
Ram and Salisbury will book their place in the semi-finals if they defeat Marcelo Arevalo and Jean-Julien Rojer in their final round-robin match. American Ram, 38, has now earned 400 tour-level doubles wins.
"It's a pretty big effort, big milestone," Salisbury said when asked about Ram's 400th win. "Congratulations. He's better than ever, even with the age."
The American-British tandem is aiming to go one step further at the prestigious year-end event this week after reaching the championship match in Turin last year. Ram and Salisbury have enjoyed another impressive season in 2022, winning ATP Masters 1000 crowns in Monte Carlo and Cincinnati, while they also triumphed at the US Open.
Glasspool and Heliovaara now hold a 1-1 record in the Red Group. They will play Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos in their final round-robin match.