Have you ever seen ATP Tour star Rajeev Ram and Tony Finau, one of the best golfers in the world, in the same room?
A laughing Ram confessed he is often confused for the PGA Tour standout.
“A lot more than I can count. I play a fair bit of golf and whenever I go to a golf course, there’s a good chance that somebody will say something like, ‘Has anybody ever told you you look like Tony Finau?’” Ram said. “I have my standard response of, ‘Yeah, I do, until they actually watch me play.’”
The professional athletes have never met. Ram has attended golf events where Finau was competing, like the Ryder Cup in Wisconsin two years ago. But in those situations, the tennis player has never been confused for the golfer.
Fans of Netflix’s Full Swing might have made the connection when watching the episode that features Finau. Ram has not watched the show, but he sees Finau on television often.
“Golf is definitely on in our house more than tennis, so I watch him all the time. I love watching golf. It’s probably my favourite sport to watch to be honest, so I definitely root for Tony whenever he’s playing,” Ram said. “It’s kind of weird to be honest because sometimes you have that feeling when someone says, ‘Oh that looks like you’, and you don’t really see it. But I genuinely see it and I feel like when I watch him on TV I’m like, ‘Man that looks like it really could be me out there.’
“I think it’s cool just because he plays a sport that I love. I love watching it. I don’t know him, but he seems like a top-notch guy.”
When Ram is home, he tries to play golf daily. The American has become known in tennis for his serve, which looks identical to Pete Sampras’. But he does not think he can mimic Finau’s golf swing.
“I probably would say [my handicap is] a 12. I wish I was better. I should be better at certain things that I feel like I have a skill for in tennis, [but] I’m not very good at in golf like some touch and some feel,” Ram said. “I think my imitation skills stop in tennis. I can’t emulate anything in golf out of anyone. If I could I would pick him for sure, but I can’t do anything. I feel like I’m lucky to make contact a lot of the time in golf.”
Ram’s longtime friend and former professional tennis player Prakash Amritraj, a current commentator for Tennis Channel, has long believed the tennis player looks like Finau.
“I had to be the first guy that told him. I mean Tony Finau is his doppelganger. I texted him the minute I saw Tony Finau and I said, ‘What are you doing, you’re supposed to be at Indian Wells, but it looks like you’re playing at The Players right now,’” Amritraj said. “I mean, he wouldn’t buy it. But as soon as you point it out, I have no idea how anybody else doesn’t see only that. It’s wild.”
As funny as the Finau-Ram connection is to the tennis player, he is fully focused on the court, where he partnered Joe Salisbury past Italians Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini on Thursday to reach the second round of the Miami Open presented by Itau.
“It’s been a little bit of a tough stretch for me. I took all of February off after Davis Cup, didn’t do anything at all except try to rehab my achilles,” Ram said. “The last couple weeks have been tough, but feel like we’re starting to sort of round back into form and play alright. Any time you get a win against those guys is pretty nice just because they’ve been around a while.”