An inspired performance by new father Filip Polasek has denied American Rajeev Ram his second 2021 Australian Open title, the Slovak joining with Ivan Dodig to win the men’s doubles crown.
Polasek and Croatian Dodig claimed their first grand slam title as a pair with a 6-3 6-4 victory over defending champions Ram and Brit Joe Salisbury at Rod Laver Arena on Sunday afternoon.
Ram and Czech Barbora Krejcikova collected the mixed doubles trophy on Saturday night, overcoming Australian duo Samantha Stosur and Matt Ebden.
Ram’s charge to two grand slam finals at Melbourne Park was all the more impressive given he spent two weeks in hard hotel lockdown.
But veteran Polasek was the stand-out, saying he was playing for his baby daughter Olivia-Victoria who was born in Bratislava on Friday.
“I would like to thank my fiancee who delivered my second daughter on Friday – thanks mum,” Polasek said after the match.
“Thanks to Tennis Australia and everyone who put together this tournament in difficult days – it’s challenging and tremendous effort.”
Polasek, 35, only returned to competitive tennis in 2018 after retiring for five years due to persistent back issues and working as a coach.
Dodig, 36, is now a four-time grand slam champion after previously winning a men’s and two mixed doubles at the French.
The first set was on serve, although Ram was forced to save six break points to level at 3-3.
Salisbury was then broken to give Polasek and Dodig a 5-3 lead and then Polasek served out the set to love, finishing with an ace.
Desperate for their first major title after making two grand slam semi-finals since linking up in 2019, Dodig and Polasek had their hands full in the second as the Ram and Salisbury tried to stay in the match.
But Polasek fired a searing return on their third break point to secure the match-winning edge.
Ram saved a championship point serving at 3-5 and then managed to hold serve, but a fired-up Polasek sealed the title next game.