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Joe Salisbury and American Rajeev Ram fail in their Australian Open men’s doubles title defense, losing to Croatian Ivan Dodig and Slovak Filip Polasek in the final at Melbourne Park; Salisbury says he has ambitions to play Davis Cup tennis for Britain in November

Last updated: 02/21/21 8:55 am

Rajeev Ram (left) and Briton Joe Salisbury had to settle for second place at this year’s Australian Open

Briton Joe Salisbury and American Rajeev Ram failed in their men’s doubles title defense at the Australian Open, losing 6-3 6-4 to Croatian Ivan Dodig and Slovakian Filip Polasek in the final at Melbourne Park .

It was the first Grand Slam triumph for Polasek, 35, who came out of retirement in 2018, while Croatian Dodig won his second men’s doubles title after winning the 2015 French Open with Marcelo Melo.

Polasek in particular has been outstanding, especially on the comeback, and it was a defining moment for the Slovak, who returned to the sport in 2018 after five years of retirement due to back problems.

He became the second Slovakian player to win a Grand Slam after Daniela Hantuchova and dedicated the title to his newborn daughter.

“We had discussions. I’m glad that she (her fiancee) said, OK, I can go. We make the deal. She said,” I’m going to delay it, and if you’re final you can miss it “.

“She’s actually holding up, I have to say, absolutely. Because on Thursday we reached the final, Friday (the baby) came. She’s a second girl.

“It’s nice. I was with the first one, the childbirth. This one, I missed it. It’s pretty sad. But to end like that here, it’s very nice. I’m also happy. that they are both in good health. ” I will see them soon. “

Salisbury said: “He played amazing today. We talked before the game, his first Grand Slam, maybe he’s a little nervous, maybe he’s not playing his best because of the occasion. But he played incredibly well.

“We just needed to serve better. I don’t think either of us served our best. It was too good for what we had today.”

Australian Open: Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram beaten in men’s doubles final at Melbourne Park |  Tennis News

Slovaks Filip Polasek (left) and Ivan Dodig won the men’s doubles title in Melbourne

Little separated the two pairs early, with both teams making their first three service games.

But after Dodig and Polasek got through another service match to take a 4-3 lead, the ninth seed finally managed to break Salisbury’s serve before running away with the last game to win the first set. .

The second set followed an identical pattern, with both teams keeping serve until Salisbury was broken again to give Dodig and Polasek a 4-3 lead.

The fifth seed rallied to tie even at 4-4, but another break of serve eventually gave Dodig and Polasek enough momentum to seal the victory in straight sets.

“Since we started playing a year and a half ago, we really love and play good tennis,” Dodig said at the trophy ceremony. “We are having a lot of fun and I hope it continues.”

The loss denied Ram, 36, a brace at Melbourne Park this year after teaming up with Barbora Krejcikova to win the mixed doubles title on Saturday.

“Filip, I know this is your first Grand Slam,” Ram said. “It was way too good. I don’t know what we could have done differently, so you played really well.”

Despite being the Grand Slam champion, Salisbury is yet to make his Davis Cup debut, but, with Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski no longer playing together, the door is open for Salisbury and Murray to potentially form a partnership.

Salisbury said: “I would love to play. I hope it goes normally. I don’t know what would happen with the partnerships.

“I’ve played with Jamie before, I’ve played with Neal before. We’ll see what happens. But I would be happy to play with either and would love to be a part of the squad.”

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