Rajeev Ram, Joe Salisbury win Aussie Open men’s doubles

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MELBOURNE, Australia — American Rajeev Ram’s decision to focus on doubles paid off handsomely when he teamed with Englishman Joe Salisbury to win the Australian Open men’s doubles crown.

The 11th seeds were in total control from early in the opening set to beat Australian wildcard pair Max Purcell and Luke Saville 6-4, 6-2 in just 70 minutes on Rod Laver Arena.

It’s Ram’s second Grand Slam title – he teamed with Czech Barbora Krejcikova to win the Australian Open mixed doubles last year. And Krejcikova successfully defended that title with Croatia’s Nikola Mektic on the same court less than 24 hours earlier.

Ram, 35, is the first American man to win the Australian Open doubles title since the Bryan brothers in 2013. Jamie Murray was the last British champion, winning the 2016 title with Brazil’s Bruno Soares.

This was Salisbury’s first Grand Slam final. He has a 2-2 win-loss record in ATP finals, capturing his two career titles with Ram in Dubai and Vienna last year.

It’s the 33-year-old’s eighth Grand Slam appearance and fifth partnering Ram.