Joe Salisbury hopes to harness home advantage at ATP Finals
Last Updated: 11/11/19 1:02pm
At this year's ATP Finals there will be just one Briton looking to harness the power of home advantage and Joe Salisbury cannot wait to do so as he and his partner Rajeev Ram make their debut as a team.
Salisbury, who grew up in Putney and has lived in London ever since, will be stepping into the ATP Finals arena for the first time on Sunday.
This season marks a real breakthrough year for Salisbury and, after struggling in the years prior, finishing this one in his hometown is something of a dream outcome for him.
"To be playing in the finals is a little bit surreal to be honest," Salisbury told the LTA ahead of the tournament at The O2 Arena.
"It's not really something that I thought that I would be doing and especially this early on in my career. I've been watching it for as long as I can remember and it's such an incredible event, especially for me having it in London."
Salisbury's partner, Ram, will bring a touch more experience to the team having competed in the 2016 and 2017 editions of the competition and as a duo they will look to put the cherry on top of a noteworthy campaign.
They decided to come together as a team at the start of the 2019 season and what has been abundantly clear since is how well their games and personalities combine.
I think that the main thing for us is that we get on really well, on and off the court. I don't think that there's any particular thing with our game style or how we play, I think that's it's mainly our personalities and our team chemistry.
Salisbury and Ram both use their 6ft 4in frames excellently and the Brit's partiality for a trick-shot has left spectators gasping and has even caused social media platforms to creek during the course of the year!
The duo's solidity at the net is complemented by Salisbury's athleticism and, in all, their endeavour has produced titles in Dubai and in Vienna. The nature of their season has given Salisbury the confidence they can perform strongly on their debut in London.
"We definitely have the belief that we can do really well and that we can win the tournament but we also know that there's a lot of other great teams here," he said.
Salisbury and Ram will have the honour of playing in the first match of the tournament on Sunday afternoon and will be first tested by the fifth seeds Raven Klassen and Michael Venus.
Alongside their two Tour titles, runner-up finishes in Brisbane, at Queen's Club and in Antwerp further signify that the pairing are firmly on the right track.
As you would expect, though, this early success is not enough for either of them and both are looking to achieve much more in the future.
"We've got pretty high goals, I think to try and make ATP Finals again would be one of them but the main one would be to win a Grand Slam," Salisbury said.
"When we're playing well we're one of the best teams and that [winning a Grand Slam] is definitely an achievable thing for us.
"Another first would be winning a Masters event so I think that those two things would be top of our list and we know that we can definitely achieve those."
For now their focus will stay firmly on Salisbury's hometown as he looks to fly the British flag strongly and make the most of the home support at The O2 Arena.