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Lipsky/Ram Save Match Point To Win Atlanta Doubles Title

Lipsky & Ram© Getty ImagesScott Lipsky and Rajeev Ram title in their debut week as a team.

Americans Scott Lipsky and Rajeev Ram claimed the Atlanta Tennis Championships doubles title as they saved one match point to outlast Rohan Bopanna and Kristof Vliegen 6-3, 6-7(4), 12-10 on Sunday at the ATP World Tour 250 hard-court tournament.
 
In a battle of teams playing for the first time this week, Lipsky and Ram raced out to a 6-2 lead in the Match Tie-break before Bopanna-Vliegen won the next five points. The Indian-Belgian duo held match point at 9-8 but a backhand volley long by Bopanna evened the match. The Americans closed out the victory in one hour and 29 minutes as Bopanna hit a forehand long.

“We both serve well and that makes us pretty tough to beat in tie-break situations,” said Ram. “We kind of get a couple returns in the court and then it’s a lot of pressure on the other teams because if we win our first serve we feel we have a good chance of winning the point. It’s what doubles is. It’s a point here or there and you’ve just got to be as present-minded as possible.”

The 28-year-old Lipsky, contesting his first ATP World Tour final this season, collected his third doubles title (3-5 in finals) after wins in 2008 at San Jose (w/D. Martin) and in 2009 at Estoril (w/Butorac). Ram, 26, improved to a 4-1 mark in finals; he won his other three titles last season at Chennai (w/Butorac), Newport (w/Kerr) and Bangkok (w/Butorac).

Ram said of winning the title in their first outing: “We complement each other pretty well. It’s not like we haven’t seen each other play before. We’ve played each other in singles and doubles a lot over the years, so it’s not like we don’t know each other’s games pretty well already.”

Lipsky had come to Atlanta straight from his wedding last Saturday, with the support of his new wife. “She’s pretty understanding,” he said. “She wasn’t thrilled that I came out this week, but my ranking wasn’t as high as I needed it to be, and these US Open tournaments are pretty much in our backyards so to be able to come and play is what I needed to do. She allowed me to come.”

Bopanna was attempting to win his second title of 2010, having won in February at Johannesburg (w/Qureshi), and fell to a 2-9 mark in ATP World Tour finals. Vliegen had gone 0-5 in doubles matches this season before breaking through this week to reach his second tour-level final; he also came up just short of the title in 2006 at Stockholm (w/O. Rochus).

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