By Ros Satar

  • Joe Salisbury/Rajeev Ram [11] def. Max Purcell/Luke Saville 6-4, 6-2
  • Shingo Kunieda [1] def. Gordon Reid 6-4 6-4
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – British action on the final day of the Australian Open ended with a maiden Slam win for Joe Salisbury & Rajeev Ram, while Gordon Reid missed on on the Men’s Wheelchair singles title

 

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Joe Salisbury/Rajeev Ram [11] def. Max Purcell/Luke Saville 6-4, 6-2

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A maiden Slam title was well earned by Joe Salisbury & Rajeev Ram who ended the Aussie wild-card pairing of Max Purcell and Luke Saville in a high quality doubles final.

The ball striking in the early exchanges, especially from the Australians saw some breath-taking rallies early on, but there seemed to be little in the way of nerves from either pairing.

The Brit/US duo responded to a love hold barrage to open the match by the Aussies with one of their own, and always piled the pressure on, with five break points chances in one game alone. They finally got their break through on an eighth break point to take the lead, and had two set points on the Aussie’s serve, before clinching the first set on their third try.

From there the momentum was firmly with them, as they broke the Aussies twice in successes to build up a 5-1 double-break cushion, needing just the one championship point to win a first Grand Slam Men’s doubles title for the pair.

Salisbury is just the second British man in the Open Era to claim the Australian Open Men’s Doubles title since Jamie Murray in 2016.

After the match, Salisbury said: “I was nervous. I feel like it’s almost been worse since we’ve had the two days off in between, quite a long build-up to the final, a long time to think about it, all the possibilities, how I’m going to feel, etc.

“I’ve been quite nervous the last couple days. But then actually today the closer it got to the match, I almost felt more calm. Once we got on court, I didn’t really feel that nervous. Almost felt like that once we get on court, that’s when we sort of feel more comfortable. We knew we’d just go out there, do our thing.

“We were going to do our best. We were ready to go. Whatever happened happened. I wasn’t expecting to sort of play as well as we did, especially how I was feeling leading up to it.”

Ram had prioritised his singles up to 2016, and made more of a move to doubles from 2017, and as Salisbury said on court, he had approached the American to pair up.

Ram said: “We knew we were ready. We were playing pretty well the whole time. We had a tough match in the semis. I think getting through that the way we did helped us. We made it about us, about our energy, our attitude, our competitiveness, sort of let that be the leading and driving force to let our tennis shine through.”

 

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Shingo Kunieda [1] def. Gordon Reid 6-4 6-4

Gordon Reid in the quarter-finals of the Men's Wheelchair Singles at the 2020 Australian Open, Melbourne

Gordon Reid in the quarter-finals of the Men’s Wheelchair Singles at the 2020 Australian Open, Melbourne | (Photo by Mike Owen/Getty Images)

Gordon Reid came out fighting at the start of the match, building up a comfortable 4-1 lead before Shingo Kunieda won the next five games to take the first set. Reid battled hard but the No.1 seed was just too strong in the key moments to round out a straight sets win, denying Reid a chance to claim the Men’s Wheelchair Singles and Doubles titles.

 

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