Even the expectations were unknown. Unable to compete in preparatory tournaments while recovering from surgery to remove his appendix, Bruno Soares gained confidence and built with Jamie Murray a beautiful trajectory in the 2021 US Open. The title, however, escaped this time. After winning the first set, the Brazilian and the British conceded the upset to Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury and said goodbye with the vice. The game had partials of 3/6, 6/2 and 6/2.
This was the second clash between the partnerships and the second victory for Ram and Salisbury. They were also executioners of Bruno and Murray in the semifinals of the Australian Open earlier this year.
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Rajeev Ram serves as partner Joe Salisbury waits crouched by the net — Photo: Getty Images
In the entire campaign at the Grand Slam Ram and Salisbury had only been broken in one game. And they saw themselves threatened right away in the debut game, with the American on the serve. They had two break points against, but saved both and managed to confirm the opening serve. In the fourth game, with Bruno on the serve, it was Ram’s turn to volley to reach the break point. Murray, very well in the net, killed points in a row to keep the tie at 2/2.
The game continued evenly until the seventh game. On another break, now on Salisbury’s serve, Murray loomed large in a long crusade to seal the advantage: 4/3. The Brazilian’s duo kept the momentum going until they closed the first set. An out forehand from Ram yielded the second break and ended the end at 6/3.
Bruno Soares and Jamie Murray celebrate with punch — Photo: Getty Images
In the second set, a perfect crusade by Salisbury left Bruno and Murray in trouble, and a blow by Ram on top of the Brazilian yielded a break in the first game. The point gave confidence, and the American and the British passed the tractor. They got a second break and reached 4/0 in a Ram smash. The trampling continued until the tie was confirmed with a 6/2.
The third set started worryingly, with a triple break point for Ram and Salisbury on Murray’s serve. The Brit hit the foundation, Bruno made a point almost on his knees, and the two had a chance to save and confirm the service. But they didn’t take advantage and saw the rivals start ahead in the decisive set.
Murray and Bruno hardened the game and appeared to regain confidence with rally victories. But it was impossible to stop Salisbury. The Brit multiplied on the court with improbable and indefensible blows and ensured another break in the seventh game. In his serve, the partnership reached the triple championship point. Bruno saved the first with a beautiful parallel, but Ram volleyed to ensure the conquest: 6/2.
Ram/Salisbury Campaign to Final
Victory over Kwon/Sharan by 6/3 and 6/4
Win over Millman/Monteiro by 6/3 and 6/4
Victory over Dodig/Bopanna by 6/7, 6/4 and 7/6
Victory over Purcell/Ebden by 7/6, 6/7 and 7/6
Victory over Johnson/Querrey by 7/6 and 6/4