Photo by Kate Whitney Lucey
Rajeev Ram claimed the title at the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships on Sunday, overcoming No. 2 seed Ivo Karlovic 7-6(5), 5-7, 7-6(2). It is Ram’s second ATP World Tour title, having also won the Newport title in 2009.
Ram started the week off with a bang, saving one match point to upset No. 1 seed John Isner in the first round. He then saved two match points to beat No. 5 seed Adrian Mannarino in the quarterfinals.
Rajeev Ram won the Van Alen Cup for the second time in his career today. The trophy is named for International Tennis Hall of Fame founder Jimmy Van Alen, who invented the tennis’ tiebreak system.
Photo by Jennifer Carter
“To say that I felt like I’d be the winner at the end of the week… I had no idea,” said Ram. “The first win was more elation, this one is more satisfaction just because I did it again.”
Ram is the only player in the tournament history to defeat the No. 1 and 2 seeds en route to winning the title.
Ram came into the week ranked world No. 161 and with this victory he will move to approximately No. 86 next week. The move into the top-100 ensures his automatic entry into the Main Draw of the US Open. Ram, age 31, is the fifteenth player age 30 and over to win an ATP World Tour title this season.
This was a second straight final in Newport for Karlovic, who commented, “I’m not disappointed, I am really grateful that I was in the final again and hopefully next week I will be the one that’s a little luckier in the end.”
In doubles action, Jonathan Marray of Great Britain and Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi of Pakistan, the No. 3 seeded team, came back from one set down to win the doubles title 4-6, 6-3, 10-8 against the pairing of American Nicholas Monroe and Croatian Mate Pavic.
Marray and Qureshi were playing together for the first time in an ATP World Tour event.
“I thought Nick and Mate played better for a set and a half,” said Marray. “But with the scoring system the way it is, we were able to fight back like we’ve been doing all week. In the semis we also had a hard-fought win in a Match Tie-break, and it was a great to get the win there again.”
For the doubles trophy presentation, Tournament Director Todd Martin invited fans onto Center Court to participate in the trophy presentation, to the delight of many enthusiastic supporters.
“I made the final in doubles here in 2008, and whenever I’ve played singles here I’ve always done well,” said Qureshi of Newport. “I love the city, the people and the atmosphere.”
Newport fans took part in the doubles trophy presentation on center court at today’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championships. Photo by Kate Whitney Lucey.