Australian Open finalist Joe Salisbury sets sights on multiple Grand Slam titles
Joe Salisbury has his sights set on becoming a multiple Grand Slam champion after he and Rajeev Ram reached a second consecutive Australian Open men’s doubles final with victory over Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares.
Murray and Soares were looking to repeat their 2016 triumph after reuniting at the start of the season but it was defending champions Salisbury and American Ram who came out on top of a tight contest, winning 6-4, 7-6 (7-2).
Salisbury said: “It was a tough one. Very tight match throughout. We got off to a bad start, were broken, 3-0 down. I think we were a bit frustrated about that, and I think it was good that we got back on serve straight away.
1⃣1⃣ @AustralianOpen wins in a row…
— LTA (@the_LTA) February 19, 2021
“Then, we played really well the rest of that set. I’m sure they were pretty frustrated that they let that lead go. But then we felt good. Then the second set was really tight. I think we both weren’t serving as well as we can. I felt like they were a little bit on top in the second set.
“But we knew if we got it to a tie-break we’d have a great chance. We managed to get through that in two sets.”
It is rare for British players to find themselves on opposing sides of the net at the latter stages of Grand Slams but Salisbury was able to put nationality aside.
He said: “Obviously we really wanted to win. It was the semi-final of a Grand Slam, so you’re going to want to win just as much whoever you’re playing against.”
Weekend plans are set.
— Rajeev Ram (@RajeevRam) February 19, 2021
Salisbury and Ram will play ninth seeds Ivan Dodig of Croatia and Filip Polasek of Slovakia in Sunday’s final bidding to make it 12 straight wins at Melbourne Park.
At 28, Londoner Salisbury is a relative youngster in the world of doubles and he sees no reason why he cannot go on to win many more major titles.
He said: “I knew it was possible but maybe didn’t think it would be so early on in my doubles career. I definitely think after last year when we won I knew that I could win lots of Grand Slams and that’s the goal.”
Salisbury and Ram’s achievement is all the more impressive considering they did not practice together between November’s ATP Finals and a week before the Australian Open after the American was confined to his hotel room for a fortnight as one of the players in hard quarantine.
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) February 19, 2021
Salisbury is thankful it was not the other way around, saying: “It was tough for him, obviously not ideal being 14 days without being able to practice or get out of the room at all, physically and mentally tough.
“I think he dealt with it pretty well. Of all the people for it to happen to, he’s not a bad person. It was better it was that way around and not me in the 14 days and him out. I think I would have struggled a lot more.
“One of his best qualities is that he just hits the ball so well. He hits it clean. I think it only took him a few days when he came out to be feeling like he was hitting OK. It was more just physically how his body would hold up.
“After a week or so he was kind of feeling back to normal, and obviously now we have had a few weeks so he’s feeling good.”
Ram is also through to the mixed doubles final but Salisbury missed out on facing his partner for another trophy as he and American Desirae Krawczyk lost out 7-5, 5-7 ,10-8 to Australian duo Matt Ebden and Sam Stosur.
Pablo Carreno Busta joins the ranks of Masters champions after Montreal fightback
Pablo Carreno Busta is a Masters champion and makes a serious move in the Race to Turin.
Exclusive – Laura Robson leaps to the defence of Emma Raducanu
Former British No 1 Laura Robson is baffled by the inflated expectations Emma Raducanu.
Exclusive – Tim Henman backs Andy Murray to defy his doubters once again
Former British No 1 Henman suggests Murray wins against top players over the last year will encourage him to fight on.
Simona Halep wins ding-dong battle to claim third Canadian Open title
Halep extended her impressive wins record at WTA 1000 events moving out to 185 matches won in the flagship events.
How to watch Masters finals in Toronto and Montreal
How to track the Canadian Open action.
Simona Halep to return to top ten after reaching Toronto final
Simona Halep and Beatriz Haddad Maia will battle it out for the Toronto Masters title.
Dan Evans battles bravely but Pablo Carreno Busta sets Hubert Hurkacz showdown
The British number two was eventually outlasted 7-5 6-7 6-2 across two hours and 58 minutes.
Andy Murray gets Cinccinati boost, but handed tricky opener against old foe with Cameron Norrie also lurking
Andy Murray handed tough assignment in Cincinnati.
Dan Evans vs Pablo Carreno Busta: How to watch Montreal semis as Evans looks to sneak into ATP top 20
A quick lowdown on the Canadian Masters semi-final and possible ATP Ranking changes.