Ram, Salisbury finish as doubles
runners-up at Nitto ATP Finals
Victoria Chiesa | November 21, 2021
American Rajeev Ram fell just short in his quest to capture the season-ending Nitto ATP Finals title for the first time in his career on Sunday, as he and Joe Salisbury were beaten in the championship match by France's Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut, 6-4, 7-6(0).
No. 3 seeds Herbert and Mahut captured their second year-end title in three years by avenging a Red Group round-robin loss to Ram and Salisbury from earlier in the tournament in 92 minutes. Ram drops to 0-2 in his career in championship matches at the Nitto ATP Finals, having also finished runner-up with Raven Klaasen in 2016.
"I think it was a bit a combination of them playing very well. I thought they served very well, especially, and we didn't quite find it today. We didn't play our best," Salisbury said in defeat. ADVERTISEMENT "I think that was partly [due to] how they were playing. We just couldn't quite get it going."
Though they saved six of the seven break points they faced in the match, Ram and Salisbury were unable to get traction in the service games of the French pair: Herbert and Mahut served nine aces combined in victory and never faced break point.
In all, Ram and Salisbury posted a 44-17 match record in 2021, reached seven finals and won two titles, including their second Grand Slam title together at the US Open in the summer. They were also runners-up at the Australian Open to start the year, and each man ends 2021 at a career-high ranking: Salisbury finishes as world No. 3 with Ram one spot behind him at No. 4.
"At the end of the day, if we have a season like this, we're going to sign up for it every time," Ram added. "Unfortunately we couldn't win today, but it was a great season for us, no question."
There will be no offseason for Ram just yet, as he'll stick around in Turin to compete in Davis Cup for Team USA next week. The Americans will face both the host Italians and Colombia in round-robin play in Group E with the hopes of advancing to the knockout stage against the Group D winner, either Australia, Croatia or Hungary. The last team standing from the Turin pod of matches between Groups D and E will adavance to the Davis Cup Finals in Madrid.