Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury recorded their 100th match win as a team on Monday at the Nitto ATP Finals. The second-seeded American-British tandem won their opening Red Group match 6-1, 7-6(5) over seventh seeds Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares in 86 minutes.
Making their third appearances at the season finale, the 2020 semi-finalists improved to a 3-0 record against Murray and Soares, which includes victories this year in the Australian Open semi-finals and US Open final. They are now 41-16 overall in 2021.
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Ram and Salisbury won 12 of the first 15 points at the Pala Alpitour in Turin, with Salisbury hitting a smash winner to break Murray’s serve in the second game. Murray came under pressure once more at 1-4 in the 25-minute first set and this time Salisbury hit a return to the feet of his fellow Brit that resulted in a routine smash for Ram.
Salisbury and Soares both held from 15/40 in their service games midway through the second set, which was highly competitive and resulted in a tie-break. Outstanding reactions at close quarters and a moment of magic from Soares, who hit a tweener at 0/3 in the tie-break, inspired the British/Brazilian team to win three straight points. But Ram and Salisbury regrouped quickly and Ram finished the encounter with a backhand return winner.
Murray and Soares, who reunited for the 2021 season, are making their fourth appearance as a team at the Nitto ATP Finals. The pair has a 25-14 match record this year.