Today, the eyes of the tennis world will be on two former collegiate players as they attempt to claim their second Grand Slam doubles title.
Rajeev Ram – Illinois – and Joe Salisbury – Memphis – will look to continue the recent dominance former collegiate players have had in the event. During the 21st century, 10 of the 21 teams who won the US Open Men’s Doubles Championship have had at least one former college athlete on the team.
Aside from the Bryan Bros, only three other players with college ties have hoisted the men’s doubles trophy this century. Ram and Salisbury will look to join the elite club on Friday when they face Bruno Soares and Jamie Murray in the championship match.
The championship match of a Major is nothing new to Ram and Salisbury, though. This will be their third Grand Slam final as a team — they won the 2020 Australian Open and finished as runner-ups in 2021.
In the 2021 US Open, they breezed through the opening two rounds and defeated both of their opponents 6-3, 6-4. In Round Three, Ram and Salisbury faced thirteen-seed Bopanna/Dodig. After dropping the first set, they came back and won in the tiebreak. Their quarterfinal match with Ebden/Purcell was a knockout match. All three sets were decided in a tiebreak with Ram and Salisbury edging their opponents out 7-6 (10) in the third.
The duo had to go through fellow collegian Steve Johnson (USC) to book their place in the finals. After a back-and-forth first set, Ram and Salisbury started to take control of the match. They won the match in straight sets and did not allow Johnson/Querrey a single point in the final game.
Their opponents are no strangers to the big stage of the US Open Doubles final, though. Soares is the defending champion — he won last year’s title with Mate Pavic in straight sets. As a duo, Soares and Murray lifted the US Open Doubles trophy in 2016.
The two teams have matched up once before. Ram and Salisbury met Soares and Murray earlier this year in the Australian Open semifinals. They defeated Soares/Murray 6-4, 7-6 (2) to advance to the finals.
The US Open Men’s Doubles final will begin at 12:00 PM ET in Arthur Ashe Stadium.