Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury reached the semi-finals at the Australian Open as a team for the third consecutive year on Wednesday, when they downed Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini 6-3, 6-2 in Melbourne.
The second seeds triumphed at this tournament two years ago, and they continued their bid to add to their trophy haul with a dominant performance against the Italians, breaking serve four times to advance after 76 minutes.
The American-British tandem captured their second Grand Slam title together at the US Open in September and also won their maiden ATP Masters 1000 crown in Toronto last season.
Ram and Salisbury will next face Matthew Ebden and Max Purcell after the Australians clawed past Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski 3-6, 6-4, 7-6(6) to snap the 11-match winning streak the 10th seeds were on.
“We’ve got to hand it to them, too. They were a classy pair,” Ebden said. Won [the] past two tournaments, in the quarters here. They came back at us hard and made it really tough. It’s a quality doubles [team].
“The key was helping each other out. I think we both lifted a little bit when the other one might have missed one or two. That was key. A couple returns, a couple extra serves, then the crowd really played a part.”
Ebden and Purcell fired 16 aces and won 80 per cent (51/64) of their first-serve points to triumph in two hours and 16 minutes. It is the second time Ebden and Purcell have joined forces, after reaching the quarter-finals at the US Open last year, where they lost to Ram and Salisbury.
© Peter Staples/ATP Tour