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Salisbury and Ram reach third straight men's doubles final at US Open
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Press Association
Joe Salisbury, left, and Rajeev Ram are through to the final (John Walton/PA)
Joe Salisbury, left, and Rajeev Ram are through to the final (John Walton/PA)

Defending champions Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram are back in the US Open final after beating Ivan Dodig and Austin Krajicek in three sets.

Britain’s Salisbury and American Ram are looking for an unprecedented third consecutive men’s doubles crown at Flushing Meadows.

Their 7-5 3-6 6-3 win, in two-and-a-quarter hours, was a 17th successive victory in New York for the pair.

The first set went with serve until 5-5 when three backhand returns from Salisbury brought up three break points.

Croatian Dodig continued serving to the Salisbury backhand, and regretted it when he hit a clean winner to put the third seeds in control.

Salisbury served out the set to love, clinching it with an overhead down the ‘T’.

But the Salisbury serve was broken late in the second set as Dodig and American Krajicek levelled the match.

A forehand down the line from Ram secured the crucial break at the start of the decider, and Ram finished the job with an unreturnable serve on match point.

Salisbury said: “We knew it would be a really tough match and that it might go all the way.

“They raised their level but we knew we would keep going and compete. Raj played amazing in that third set and we’re happy to be in the final.

“It’s pretty amazing. We didn’t think we’d be here but there’s something about this place which seems to bring the best out of us.”

A tearful Ram, at his home grand slam, said: “It’s been a tough year for us and to play this level, stick together like we did, and beat the best team this year, I thought we did great and I’m just proud of our performance.”

Ram snacked on some sushi in between the second and third sets and it seemed to do the trick.

“It was so hot earlier I couldn’t eat as much as I wanted so I got my boy to go and get me some sushi and it helped, I think,” he added.

Salisbury and Ram will face India’s Rohan Bopanna and Australian Matthew Ebden in Friday’s final.

There was disappointment for rising British star Hannah Klugman in the juniors event.

The 14-year-old needed a medical time-out after the first set in her quarter-final against Laura Samsonova and eventually retired at 6-0 3-0 down.

She later withdrew from the doubles, in which she was due to play with Mimi Xu, on another day of 35C-plus temperatures at Flushing Meadows.

Alfie Hewett is through to the semi-finals of the wheelchair singles after a 6-1 6-3 win over Japan’s Takuya Miki, but Lucy Shuker won only two games against 11th seed Diede De Groot of the Netherlands.

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