Joe Salisbury admitted that he and Rajeev Ram cracked under pressure as the duo missed five match points in their Wimbledon semi-final defeat.
Putney’s Salisbury and American partner Ram led by two sets to love and had five match points in the third set tiebreak against Australian 14th seeds Matt Ebden and Max Purcell, who had beaten them at this stage of the Australian Open.
And after failing to convert those match points, the top seeds faded physically and mentally as they were beaten 3-6 6-7 (1) 7-6 (9) 6-4 6-2 out on Court 1.
Two of their match points were on their serve – with Salisbury double faulting on one – and afterwards he conceded that the pressure had got to them.
“We couldn’t really have been any closer to being in the final and we both kind of just screwed it up and couldn’t get over the line. It’s tough,” he said.
“It’s the pressure. Obviously we played some bad points the rest of the match, but we played two bad ones on match point. It’s the pressure, serving to get in the final. There’s extra nerves at that moment, but you’ve still got to do better than that.
“I think they probably played better throughout the match, and I think our level went down. I think we were obviously disappointed about the third set and we had a long five-set match yesterday.
“I think mentally as much as physically it was tough to be on it as much as we were in the first two sets. We faded a little bit at times in the fourth and fifth.”
Ram added: “We need to do a bit of digging and think about it but I don’t really know if there’s an explanation for it.
“We’ll have some time away and I think it’s properly important so we can reflect on it with a good attitude, because that’s something you don’t want to carry forward with you too much.”
The duo were already planning to take time off before the hard court summer that culminates in the US Open at the end of August.
However after such a difficult loss, the Brit revealed that he will be taking more time off court to recover physically and mentally ahead of the US hard court season.
“I’ll probably not play tennis, not think about tennis or watch it. I’ll just do something different, take a bit of time off,” said the 30-year-old.
“We weren’t going to play any tournaments for a while anyway. We weren’t going to go out to the US for at least three or four weeks so we’ve got a bit of time.
“I’ll definitely take some time off, probably play some golf and get our bodies ready again.”
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