Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram make history with US Open doubles triumph

Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram became just the second team in the open era to successfully defend their US Open doubles title. With Neal Skupski and his Dutch partner Wesley Koolhof on the other side of the net, there was guaranteed to be a British winner, and it was Londoner Salisbury and American Ram who came out on top of a tight contest, winning 7-6 (4) 7-5.

It is a third grand slam title together for Ram and Salisbury, who also won the Australian Open in 2020, and they follow in the footsteps of the Australian greats Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde, the last team to win back-to-back titles in New York, in 1995 and 1996. The victory means Salisbury, who has also won two mixed doubles titles, holds on to the world number No 1 ranking. Skupski would have overtaken him had he and Koolhof lifted the trophy.

Salisbury said: “It’s pretty crazy. I can’t quite believe that we’re standing here again. It’s so special to be playing in this incredible stadium and to have that piece of history, to have won this twice in a row, is amazing.”

Both British players paid their respects to the Queen, Salisbury with a black armband and Skupski a black ribbon on his shirt. There was little to choose between the teams throughout on Arthur Ashe Stadium. The first set was especially tight, with a nervous opening game from Skupski on serve in his first men’s doubles slam final the only show of weakness from either pair until the tie-break.

Koolhof and Skupski, who have won six titles in a brilliant season, looked to have created a solid lead at 4-1 but some fine returning from Salisbury and Ram helped them reel off six points in a row to take the set. The first break came in the third game of the second set, when consistent pressure from Koolhof and Skupski saw Ram drop serve, but he and Salisbury hit straight back.

The pressure on the second seeds was growing and, with Skupski serving at 5-6 they set up a first match point, taking it on a Salisbury smash.
The pressure on the second seeds was growing and, with Skupski serving at 5-6 they set up a first match point, taking it on a Salisbury smash.

Hewett reaches sixth straight US Open final
Alfie Hewett is through to the US Open men’s wheelchair singles final for a sixth straight year after a comfortable win over France’s Nicolas Peifer.

Norfolk’s Hewett has reached the final on every one of his visits to Flushing Meadows, winning the title in 2017 and 2018 but losing the other three finals. In an expanded draw, he is yet to drop a set after three matches and eased to a 6-3 6-1 victory against Peifer.

The 24-year-old will now renew his rivalry with the top seed, Shingo Kunieda from Japan, who is bidding to become the first man to complete the calendar slam in men’s wheelchair singles. Hewett lost to Kunieda here last year as well as in the finals of the Australian Open and the French Open this season.

Meanwhile, the first boys’ wheelchair singles final at a grand slam will be an all-British affair between Ben Bartram and Dahnon Ward.