Rajeev Ram Returns To Ortisei Challenger Final After Four Years

Rajeev Ram (photo: Marco Wanker)

ORTISEI, November 14, 2015

Ricardas Berankis and Rajeev Ram will go head to head in Sunday’s final of the € 64,000 Sparkassen ATP Challenger in Ortisei.

The top-seed from Lithuania cruised past Laslo Djere, winning 6-3, 6-2. The 20-year-old Serbian was obviously still tired from his three-hours-quarterfinals-battle against Aldin Setkic on Friday and produced a lot of unforced errors. Berankis was solid on his first service, winning 82% of the points and closed the match by smashing his sixth ace after 65 minutes.

Watch the match point:

“I felt really good on court today, similiar like yesterday. Laslo was a bit tired, which made the biggest difference today,” the world number 82 from Vilnius told after reaching his second final of the season. “The deeper you get into a tournament, the more relaxed and comfortable you feel on court.”

Ram defeated second seed Evgeny Donskoy, winning 6-4, 6-3. The tournament’s number three from the United States was pretty efficient, gaining the decisive breaks. Ram capitalized on his second break point chance of the match to clinch the opening set in the tenth game. The world number 99 also broke Donskoy’s serve in the eighth game of the second to finish the encounter after one hour and 13 minutes.

Watch the match point:

“I was a bit lucky today. He had more chances than I did in the first set,” Ram had to admit afterwards. “Somehow I got through and took the one chance I had in the end of the opening set. That was probably the key. Second set was more even,” the 31-year-old told Tennis TourTalk.

Ram claimed the title here in Ortisei in 2011. Back then, the tournament was still held on carpet. “It is a bit slower that it was on the carpet but it is still a very fast court. That’s what I like and I guess it’s good for me to play well, which I had the last few years,” Ram explained and is looking forward to Sunday’s final. “It is going to be a tough match again. Ricardas is good player, very solid from the baseline and hits the balls hard. He is good on fast courts as well,” he said.

In the doubles final, Austrian tandem of Maximilian Neuchrist and Tristan-Samuel Weissborn will face the third seeded Croatian combination of Nikola Mektic and Antonio Sancic.