Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Ram, Salisbury lose but stay alive in ATP Finals doubles

   Second-seeded Rajeev Ram, a volunteer assistant coach at the University of California, Berkeley, and Joe Salisbury of Great Britain lost to fifth-seeded Wesley Koolhof of the Netherlands and Nikola Mektic of Croatia 7-6 (5), 6-0 today to fall to 1-1 in the Nitto ATP Finals in London.
   Ram, 36, and Salisbury, a 28-year-old London native and resident, won the Australian Open early this year. They will face third-seeded Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies of Germany on Thursday at 10 a.m. PST (Tennis Channel) in the indoor hardcourt tournament. The winner will advance to the semifinals.
   Krawietz and Mies, who won their second consecutive French Open title last month, eliminated eighth-seeded Lukasz Kubot of Poland and Marcelo Melo of Brazil 6-2, 7-6 (5).
   In singles, third-seeded Dominic Thiem topped second-seeded Rafael Nadal 7-6 (7), 7-6 (4), and sixth-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas, the defending champion, saved a match point in his 6-1, 4-6, 7-6 (6) victory over seventh-seeded Andrey Rublev.
   Thiem, last year's runner-up, clinched a semifinal berth at 2-0. Nadal and Tsitsipas, both 1-1, will meet on Thursday not before noon for the other semifinal spot in their four-man group. Nadal seeks his first ATP Finals title.
   ATP Challenger Tour — Eighth-seeded Mackenzie McDonald, a 25-year-old product of Piedmont in the San Francisco Bay Area, routed Teymuraz Gabashvili, a 35-year-old Georgia native who plays for Russia, 6-2, 6-1 in the first round of the Orlando (Fla.) Open at the USTA National Campus.
   Gabashvili, a former top-50 singles player, and Dennis Novikov, a 27-year-old San Jose, Calif., product, won the doubles title in last week's Atlantic Tire Championships in Cary, N.C.
   McDonald, playing on his adopted home courts, is scheduled to face Elias Ymer, a 24-year-old Swede, on Thursday for a quarterfinal berth. In their only previous meeting, McDonald defeated Ymer 6-4, 6-3, 4-6, 6-1 in the first round of the 2018 Australian Open. 
   Wild card Sam Riffice, a University of Florida junior who grew up in the Sacramento suburb of Roseville, withdrew with a "medical" issue.

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