Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury save two match points at ATP Finals | ATP Tour


Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury saved two match points to snap the winning streak of 2019 champions Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut at the Nitto ATP Finals on Wednesday.

The 6-7(7), 6-0, 13-11 victory for Ram and Salisbury does not guarantee them a place in the semi-finals, but does see them go top of the Red Group. Herbert and Mahut could have secured their semi-final spot with a win, but could not covert two match points at 9-8 and 10-9 in the Match tie-break. The Frenchmen must now wait until Friday when they will face the winless Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares, while Ram and Salisbury take on Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah.

Herbert and Mahut came into the match having won their past six matches and last 12 sets at the Nitto ATP Finals after their last appearance in 2019 saw them win the title without dropping a set. They had Ram and Salisbury under pressure from the beginning, earning four break points on Ram’s serve in the opening service game.

The American-British pairing held firm, saving a fifth break point in the sixth game. They even had two set points on their own serve in the tie-break, only for Herbert and Mahut to extend their set-winning streak to 13 sets, triumphing in a rapid-fire net exchange to lead 7-6(7).

Ram and Salisbury, the US Open champions, bounced back in spectacular style, handing Herbert and Mahut their first bagel set since the Roland Garros fourth round. Ram and Salisbury carried that momentum into the Match tie-break, building a 7-4 lead before Herbert and Mahut were able to come back.

A searing return winner from Ram saved match point at 9-10, but Salisbury double-faulted on their own match point at 11-10. Salisbury immediately redeemed himself with a big serve to set up a second match point and Ram landed another dominant return to seal victory.

The two-time Grand Slam champion pairing are hoping to make it back to the elimination stages after failing to convert match point on Jurgen Melzer and Eduoard Roger-Vasselin in the semi-finals at the O2 in London last year.

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