Carmel’s Ram set for third Olympic appearance


One of the things Rajeev Ram is most excited about regarding his third time making the U.S. Olympic tennis team is there is no virus attached to it.

“Jokingly, the first time it was Zika, and then COVID, obviously,” Ram said. “Seriously, I’m super proud to be an Olympian for the third time. It’s not the first thing that comes to your head as a tennis player. But participating is an absolute privilege. I’m really looking forward to doing it.”

The 2002 Carmel High School graduate will play doubles for the U.S. team in the Summer Games in Paris. The matches will be played at Roland Garros, the home of the French Open, from July 27 to Aug. 4.

Ram won a silver medal in mixed doubles with Venus Williams in Rio in 2016. He was a member of the 2020 U.S. team that was delayed to 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ram is set to play men’s doubles in the Olympics with Aaron Krajicek.

“The week after Wimbledon there is a decent clay court event in Hamburg, Germany (starting July 15),” Ram said. “Since the Olympics are going to be on clay, I’m going to play with my Olympic partner there. For the first time ever, I’m staying after Wimbledon to play a clay court event.”

Ram, 40, has played with Krajicek, 34, in some important Davis Cup matches.

“We had a really big win against Croatia last year,” Ram said. “We’ve had some experiences like that, which I think is good in this scenario. He has a great record at the French Open.”

Ram and his regular partner, British player Joe Salisbury, have won three consecutive U.S. Open titles.

After being selected for the Olympics the first time, Ram realized how special it was.

“You get an appreciation of what it means. It’s all the best athletes in all the best sports around the world. You are absolutely a small part of a big production,” Ram said. “It’s so global and it’s so neat. It’s every four years, (and you don’t know) if and when it’s going to be your last or only (appearance). I caught the bug as soon as I had my first experience with it. I told myself unless it was a health reason, I would never turn down a chance to play.”