First-Time Duo Captures Shenzhen Glory
For a partnership formed just over a week ago, the Shenzhen Open worked out well for the duo of Rajeev Ram and Alexander Peya, who beat top-seeded Nikola Mektic and Nicholas Monroe 6-3, 6-2 to win the title in their first tournament playing together.
“It was an unbelievable week for me, I guess for both of us,” said Peya. “Luckily I was able to find such a great one [partner] and it worked out perfect for us."
Peya's usual partner, Julian Knowle, suffered an injury last week in St. Petersburg. "I want to wish [him] a speedy recovery from his elbow surgery," Peya said.
Ram and Peya dropped just one set, in the semi-finals, en route to their victory. Ram said that it didn’t take long for them to adjust to the partnership due to their complementary games.
“I’ve been on the wrong side of the court from him enough times to know he’s a great player, so I was also lucky for this week,” said Ram, who trails his head-to-head with Peya 4-5. “When he called, it was a great opportunity for me as well. So happy it worked out. I think we played some great tennis, and really played the big points well today in the final.”
In fact, Ram and Peya saved all 10 break points they faced in the match, while converting on three of the five break points they earned. Despite winning just three of 16 second-serve points, the American-Austrian duo managed to find their best tennis in the key moments to clinch the championship.
For Ram, it was his fourth title of the year, with three different partners (Delray Beach w/Klaasen, Indian Wells w/Klaasen and Newport w/Qureshi). And for Peya, it was his 15th trophy overall and first since Basel in 2015 (w/Soares).
“It didn’t feel like it took long at all to gel,” Ram said. “We kind of hit the ground running.”
Ram and Peya each earned 250 Emirates ATP Doubles Rankings points and split $62,625 in prize money while Mektic and Monroe earned 150 points and split $18,990.