NEW YORK (AP) — Joe Salisbury slammed down an overhead to clinch another U.S. Open men’s doubles title, raised his arms and hugged partner Rajeev Ram.
There wasn’t much of a celebration beyond that. It didn’t feel right to the British player while there’s so much sadness at home following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
“I think it didn’t feel appropriate to be overly celebrating or at least showing that too much, because obviously everybody back home and around the world is in mourning at the moment, and it’s a very sad time,” Salisbury said Friday.
“Definitely feels a bit strange to be in this situation. Obviously we are very happy with the success that we have had, but, yeah, it’s a sad time at the same moment.”
Salisbury and Ram became just the second team to repeat as men’s doubles champions at the U.S. Open in the professional era with their 7-6 (4), 7-5 victory over Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski.
Salisbury wore a black band around the left sleeve on his shirt, while Skupski, who is also British, wore a black ribbon on his chest. Both teams had played semifinal matches Thursday and learned of the queen’s death on TV shortly after Salisbury and Ram had finished off their victory.
“I haven’t really seen much of the news. But incredibly sad for obviously the country and obviously the world for what she did,” Skupski said.
“It was a bit strange, us playing when obviously the country is in mourning. She was a great servant and we will obviously remember that she was an incredible woman.”
Salisbury and Skupski are likely to team up to play doubles for Britain next week in Davis Cup. They could face Ram, who is on the U.S. roster that is in the same group.
Salisbury ensured he will remain the No. 1 player in the doubles rankings with his 17th straight U.S. Open win, combining men’s and mixed doubles.
This one made he and Ram, the top-seeded team, the only pair other than Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde to go back-to-back in New York since 1968. The Hall of Fame duo from Australia won in 1995 and 1996.
“Obviously if you can kind of emulate them in anything in tennis, it’s pretty good company to keep,” Ram said. “I’m sure we will have a discussion about that at some point. It’s pretty good for us, I’d say.”
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