Britain’s Joe Salisbury claims men’s doubles title alongside American Rajeev Ram

Britain’s Joe Salisbury claimed his first grand slam title alongside American Rajeev Ram in the men’s doubles at the Australian Open.

Salisbury and Ram went into the final on Rod Laver Arena as the favourites against Australian wild cards Max Purcell and Luke Saville and justified that with a 6-4 6-2 victory.

Salisbury follows in the footsteps of Jamie Murray, who won this title in 2016 with Brazil’s Bruno Soares, and joins the Scot, 2012 Wimbledon champion Jonny Marray and Roger Taylor as the only British winners of slam trophies in men’s doubles in the Open era.

British interest in doubles still centres on Murray but 27-year-old Londoner Salisbury has enjoyed a rapid rise to become the country’s leading exponent in the format following a surprise run to the Wimbledon semi-finals in 2018.

Salisbury and Ram qualified for the ATP Finals together for the first time in November and this title will lift them to four and five in the world rankings, respectively.

With their matching long, blond hair, Purcell and Saville looked like they would be more at home surfing at nearby St Kilda beach.

They were not to be underestimated, though, having taken several impressive scalps this fortnight as well as a string of title wins on the second tier Challenger Tour.

They were under pressure from the start and Ram and Salisbury might have forged ahead before they broke the Saville serve at 3-3 in the first set.

They did not face a break point throughout the match and Salisbury in particular was outstanding.

Ram won the mixed doubles here 12 months ago but, at 35, this was his first men’s doubles title in his 58th slam tournament, setting an Open era record.