Rajeev Ram likes himself some grass, but he fell in qualifying-round play at Wimbledon’s 2014 championships across the pond. Despite a mid-match rebound, the Carmel resident went out by a 6-3, 6-4, 6-7 (2), 6-2 score at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club to Czech pro Jan Hernych.
Ram remains alive in men’s doubles action at the AELTC, partnering with Poland’s Mariusz Fyrstenberg, and the two have their work cut out for them. They will face No. 5–seeded Leander Paes, the venerable Indian, and another Czech, Radek Stepanek, in first-round action, and both are multiple Grand Slam doubles titleists. (See the complete men’s-doubles draw here, fronted by No. 1–seeded Bob and Mike Bryan, who played in Ram’s November 2013 exhibition event in Carmel.) If Ram’s team wins its first match, it may set up a showdown with his former doubles partner, Scott Lipsky, with whom he won an Atlanta hardcourt title in 2010 in that duo’s first outing together.
Ram won his maiden ATP World Tour title in July 2009 at the Tennis Hall of Fame Championships in Newport, Rhode Island, a grass-court tournament. Born in Denver, he is a former Indiana state singles champion out of Carmel High School, and he also won an NCAA men’s team title in 2003 when his University of Illinois squad went 32-0. At the professional level, he reached a career-high singles ranking at No. 78 in November 2009; he is currently ranked No. 149 in the ATP standings.