Top seeds Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury enjoyed a smooth start to their Wimbledon campaign on Thursday in London. Champions at the Australian Open in 2020 and the US Open in 2021, the duo opened its quest for a first Wimbledon title with a 6-3, 7-6(5), 7-6(6) victory against Daniel Altmaier and Carlos Taberner.
After lifting the trophy at Ram’s home Slam last year in the United States, the team is bidding for similar success in doubles World No. 1 Salisbury’s home major in Great Britain. Quarter-finalists or better at each of the past four Grand Slams, the pair is seeking to improve upon a semi-final finish last year at SW19.
Ram/Salisbury saved the only break point they faced in the opening round early in the first set, finishing with an 85 per cent win rate (53/62) on first-serve points. The Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters champions advance to face Fabrice Martin in Hugo Nys after the French-Monagesque pair advanced in five sets on Wednesday.
Sixth seeds Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah, the 2019 Wimbledon and US Open champions, also opened with a straight-sets victory at the All England Lawn Tennis Club. The Colombians scored a 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 win against Frenchmen Adrian Mannarino and Ugo Humbert, capitalising on four of their six break chances.
The big upset of the day was all about the number five: On Court 5, fifth seeds Tim Puetz and Michael Venus lost a fifth-set tie-break to Raven Klaasen and Marcelo Melo. The South African-Brazilian pair won a 4-6, 7-6(2), 7-5, 1-6, 7-6(10-6) decision, with a single break of serve proving enough to pull off the upset. Klaasen/Melo fired 12 aces in the victory.
Also advancing on Day 4 were eighth seeds Ivan Dodig and Austin Krajicek, who defeated Americans Steve Johnson and Sam Querrey 6-3, 7-6(2), 6-7(4), 7-5. Twelfth-seeded Frenchmen Edouard Roger-Vasselin and Nicolas Mahut cruised past Argentina’s Francisco Cerundolo and Tomas Martin Etcheverry 6-1, 6-2, 6-3.
Aussies Matthew Ebden and Max Purcell, Wimbledon 14th seeds and finalists at the Australian Open in January, completed a first-round comeback in a fifth-set tie-break, defeating Ben McLachlan and Andre Goransson 6-7(5), 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6(10-8).