Former Illini Rajeev Ram captured the doubles title last week at the St. Petersburg Open.
Sept. 27, 2012
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia - Former Illini and 2003 NCAA doubles champion Rajeev Ram teamed up with doubles partner Nenad Zimonjic (Serbia) to win the St. Petersburg Open on Sept. 23.
In a field of 16, the top-seeded duo of Ram and Zimonjic opened up tournament play by defeating the Italian duo of Flavio Cipolla and Paolo Lorenzi 6-3, 6-4. Ram and Zimonjic advanced to the semifinals by downing Philipp Marx of Germany and Florin Mergea of Romania, 2-6, 6-1, 10-8, and secured a spot in the finals by narrowly edging Frank Moser (GER) and Ken Skupski (GBR), 6-7(5), 7-6(4), 10-5.
Ram and Zimonjic claimed the title with a 6-2, 4-6, 10-6 win over 10th-seeded Slovakian duo Lukas Lacko and Igor Zelenay.
The title marks Ram's first of this year, after having a strong 2011 season in which he secured two doubles titles. The Illini great moved up seven spots in the ATP rankings after his victory. He currently sits at 41st in doubles, not far from his career-high doubles ranking of 33rd.
In his only season sporting the Orange and Blue, Ram helped lead the 2003 team to a 32-0 record, ending with the NCAA team title. Ram claimed the doubles title with Brian Wilson.