American Rajeev Ram and Great Britain's Joe Salisbury blew a great chance to make the final at the Nitto ATP Finals and secure the year-end No. 1 doubles team ranking. Ram and Salisbury, seeded at No. 2, lost to Jurgen Melzer and Edouard Roger-Vasselin as the seventh-seeded duo won 6-7 (4) 6-3 11-9.
Ram and Salisbury dropped their serve in the opening game of the match -- but broke back Melzer and Roger-Vasselin in the fourth game to level the set at two games apiece -- before realizing their first set point in the tie-break to complete a first-set comeback.
After winning the first set, Ram and Salisbury started the second set with a break but failed to hold on to their serve as Melzer and Roger-Vasselin claimed two breaks to overturn the deficit and force a decider. In the match tie-break, Ram and Salisbury suffered a major collapse as they blew a 7-1 lead and also didn't convert a match point at 9-8 in the decider.
Ram and Salisbury lose the No. 1 spot to Mate Pavic and Bruno Soares
Pavic and Soares, who failed to make it last the Round Robin stage at the Nitto ATP Finals, will still finish the season as the top-ranked duo. Meanwhile, Melzer and Roger-Vasselin will be taking on No.
5 seeds Wesley Koolhof and Nikola Mektic in the final at the Nitto ATP Finals. Koolhof and Mektic, seeded at No. 5, handed a straight-set defeat to fourth-seeded Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos 6-3 6-4 to the final in their first team appearance at The O2 Arena.
Koolhof and Mektic, who finished No. 1 in Group Mike Bryan, pressured Granollers and Zeballos early on but failed to realize any of their two break points in the second game. But Koolhof and Mektic realized their third break point in the eighth game to open a 5-3 lead, before routinely serving out for the opener in the following game.
After winning the first set, Koolhof and Mektic broke Granollers and Zeballos in the third game of the second set and then held on to their serve the rest of the way to seal a straight-set win. Koolhof and Mektic, who have yet to win a title together, are hoping to win their first team title in their third final together.
"We are reaching almost every goal this year so far. The first goal was to play here, then play our first Grand Slam final, qualify from the group here and now we are in the final,” Koolhof said after the match, per the Nitto ATP Finals website.
“So far, it has been a dream week. One more to go tomorrow and we are ready to celebrate”. Mektic, ranked at No. 14 in doubles, was thrilled with the way he and Koolhof performed. "We played really well. From the start, we were very focussed. We did not make any mistakes. We did not give them any chances,” Mektic said.