Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury completely turned around their season in the final four months, winning three of their four tennis titles in 2023.
Ram and Salisbury went undefeated for the second consecutive year en route to capturing the doubles title Nov. 19 at the ATP Finals in Turin, Italy. They beat Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos 6-3, 6-4 in the final.
“It’s a huge tournament, and I value it quite a lot,” said Ram, a 2002 Carmel High School graduate. “As a team, we really get up for it. Outside of the four majors, it’s the biggest tournament we have. We’ve shown over the years we play our best in the biggest tournaments.”
Ram, 39, and Salisbury, 31, won their third consecutive U.S. Open doubles title in September. They then won the Vienna Open in late October. Ram finished the year ranked No. 6 on the ATP Tour individual doubles rankings, one spot ahead of Salisbury.
“I think more than anything we were fully healthy,” said Ram, who was slowed by an achilles injury early in the year. “We made a final in Toronto, before the U.S. Open. We really felt after the first couple of rounds of the U.S. Open, we were there again at that level. Winning it was complete proof and validation we were back at the top of our game.”
Ram and Salisbury, from England, will start their sixth year of partnership in January in Australia. The Australian Open, one of the four Grand Slams, starts Jan. 14.
“The continuity is a big part of our success,” Ram said. “I feel on the court we have each other’s back, that sometimes is the difference.”
Ram said it was a taxing year.
“It was really the downs and ups in this case,” he said. “There was a lot of tennis at the end of the year, so it’s super important to take my break now. But I’ll do my best to be ready to go. The majors are what we base our year on, and one is coming up straight away in January. It’s a big year. We have the Olympics, which is a huge event for all of us.”