Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury won their first double grand slam title at the Australian Open beating Australian wild-card team of Max Purcell and Luke Saville 6-4, 6-2.
This was Ram’s second grand slam title. He had won the 2019 Australian Open mixed doubles title with Barbora Krejčíková. He did not defend his mixed doubles title this year and chose to focus on his doubles instead.
Ram played tennis at the University of Illinois, and Salibury played at the University of Memphis.
The win was emotional for Ram. Ram said, “My father passed away in April of last year with pancreatic cancer,” he said. “He was the one that started me in tennis.”
“When something like that happens, it shakes you pretty good. Yes, it’s been challenging, but sometimes that stuff, when it happens, makes these moments a little bit more sweet. Obviously I wish all the world that my dad could have seen this. I think I’ve done well to make him proud hopefully.”
Ram thanked Salisbury for part in winning the title. “He doesn’t show it outwardly, but he’s incredibly competitive, especially on the tennis court,” he said. “His ability to rise to the occasion is pretty special. Obviously he’s an incredible athlete, too. Those two things for me stick out. “One thing that’s also helped us is we’ve become really good partners to each other. When we’re nervous in tough situations, we’re not afraid to say what we think. There’s a bit of trust there. He’s taken to that, as both of us have, really well. His open-mindedness has been pretty good.”
In his victory speech, Salisbury said of Ram, “I didn’t think when I asked you to play just over a year ago that we’d be standing here now, but it’s been an honor to play with you. It’s been so much fun to have you as my partner and as my friend. Thank you so much for being the best partner I could get.”