Staff-Minded Rajeev Ram Climbs To Doubles World No. 1: ‘It is Fairly Superb’ | ATP Tour

Rajeev Ram made historical past on Monday when he turned the oldest first-time World No. 1 in Pepperstone ATP Doubles Rankings historical past. The American climbed from World No. 2, swapping locations with accomplice Joe Salisbury of Nice Britain.

“It’s fairly wonderful. I’ve clearly had fairly an extended profession, which I’m grateful for. However it’s been over the previous three or 4 years with Joe that it’s actually felt like we’ve been on the prime of the sport and been contending for all the main titles,” Ram informed ATPTour.com. “It’s quite a lot of laborious work that lots of people put in, not simply me, to get me so far.”

The 38-year-old has been World No. 2 since 4 April, and he climbed to World No. 1 when Salisbury dropped 250 factors he earned from capturing the San Diego Open title final season with Neal Skupski. Ram positioned himself to earn the achievement when he partnered Salisbury to their second consecutive US Open title final month.

Though Ram “used to draw back” from record-related discuss, he appreciates making the highest of the lads’s doubles mountain aged 38. The previous-oldest first-time World No. 1 was the primary doubles World No. 1: Bob Hewitt, who was 36 in 1976.

“I actually respect that now as a result of I really feel prefer it reveals the truth that you possibly can wait lengthy. So long as you’re resilient [and] persistent, issues can occur, even a lot later,” Ram stated. “Everyone seems to be on their very own path and possibly it’s even somewhat bit sweeter if it takes somewhat bit longer.”

<a href=Joe Salisbury/Rajeev Ram” />
Ram and Salisbury at this 12 months’s US Open. Photograph: Elsa/Getty Photos.
The American performed faculty tennis on the College of Illinois, the place in 2003 the group received the nationwide title and Ram claimed doubles glory with Brian Wilson. He then loved a profitable singles profession by which he climbed to a career-high World No. 56 in 2016 and lifted two ATP Tour trophies (each in Newport).

However in 2017, Ram shifted his focus to doubles and has not seemed again since.

“I felt like I restarted my profession in 2017 after I began enjoying doubles. I don’t really feel prefer it’s been that lengthy within the sense of it looks like I’ve simply actually performed doubles for about 5 years,” Ram stated. “It feels somewhat completely different than it might have [if] I performed doubles my entire profession and swiftly at 38 I acquired so far.

“I wanted to focus each little bit of consideration I needed to maximise my ability in doubles, I felt like. That’s form of what I did. To have a gentle accomplice, to have a bunch round us that all of us consider in and we belief, I feel these outcomes are a [result] of that.”

Each Ram and Salisbury have been clear that they’ve at all times put the group above the person of their partnership. They’ve received eight tour-level titles collectively — together with three Grand Slam crowns — and certified for the Nitto ATP Finals in 4 consecutive seasons.

“These accolades are nice, however I feel our focus was to be the No. 1 group,” Ram stated. “Now the truth that we each will [have been] the No. 1 participant is only a testomony to the group effort that we’ve put in.”

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Ram had a hunch issues would go nicely with Salisbury after their first coaching block collectively on the finish of 2018 in Florida, and that has confirmed prophetic. Salisbury had loads of reward for his accomplice.

“Huge congratulations to Rajeev for being the World No. 1. I’m very blissful for him and it’s positively nicely deserved. It positively feels proper that he’s No. 1 now. I’m very blissful to be transferring again to be No. 2,” Salisbury stated. “Clearly it’s an enormous group effort, we’re actually happy with what we’ve achieved. To be the No. 1 group in the mean time, I feel it’s positively proper that we share being No. 1. I’ve loved having it whereas I’ve, however I’m actually blissful for him. He’s been an unimaginable accomplice the entire time we’ve been enjoying collectively.

“[Even though] we expect extra in regards to the group than the person accolades, it’s positively good that he has the No. 1 rating now.”

Mike Bryan, who was doubles World No. 1 for a document 506 weeks, congratulated his countryman on ascending to the highest spot.

“Rajeev actually deserves this honour and it’s nice to see him having a lot success in his late 30s,” Bryan informed ATPTour.com. “He’s at all times been one of the crucial proficient and harmful doubles gamers on Tour, however to succeed in the highest of the mountain this late in his profession is wonderful. It’s an enormous testomony to his dedication and laborious work. Congrats RR!”

Though he’s excited to succeed in World No. 1, Ram is hungry to proceed honing his craft and to work with Salisbury to stay the highest group within the sport.

“It’s simply the concept of attempting to take care of and maintain bettering my very own recreation, as a result of everybody else goes to enhance as nicely. Nobody is simply going to sit down there, so clearly if we don’t get higher, we’re going to fall behind,” Ram stated. “It’s simply fixed motivation to maintain pushing as laborious as we are able to to go so far as we are able to go.”

Did You Know?
Ram is the 57th participant and 18th American to climb to No. 1 within the Pepperstone ATP Doubles Rankings.

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