Joe Salisbury reached his first final since becoming the doubles world number one with victory in Monte Carlo.

Top seeds Salisbury and US partner Rajeev Ram beat Jamie Murray and Rohan Bopanna 3-6 7-6 (7-4) 11-9.

Fellow Briton Murray and Bopanna took the first set confidently, with Salisbury later earning a code violation for ball abuse.

Ram and Salisbury forced a match tie-break, edging Murray and Bopanna to contest a first Monte Carlo final.

Salisbury initially appeared to struggle with his game, relying on Ram as the steadier of the pair, as they played a tighter second set to level the match.

In the deciding match tie-break, Salisbury regained his sharpness, fending off a fightback from 9-6 down from the scratch pairing, and will now bid for a first clay court title since partnering with Ram in 2019.

Salisbury becomes the sixth Briton to reach the Monte Carlo doubles final, following Dan Evans and Neal Skupski (2021), Murray (2016), Tim Henman (1999, 2004), and Roger Taylor (1970, 1971),

Former doubles world number one Murray’s long-term partner Bruno Soares is taking a break from the tour and is not expected to play again until the French Open in May.

Salisbury and Ram will play the winners of the second semi-final, played later on Saturday, in which Marcelo Arevalo and Jean-Julien Rojer face Juan-Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah.

Defending champion Tsitsipas to face Davidovich Fokina in the final

For the third Masters tournament in a row, a player will bid for a maiden Masters title. Spain’s Alejandro Davidovich Fokina will hope to join Taylor Fritz (Indian Wells) and Carlos Alcaraz (Miami) in lifting the highest tier of ATP tour titles.

The Spaniard beat tour veteran Grigor Dimitrov 6-4 6-7 (2-7) 6-3, having ousted world number one Novak Djokovic in the second round.

Stefanos Tsitsipas
Stefanos Tsitsipas is aiming to be the first repeat champion at Monte Carlo since Rafael Nadal (2016-2018)

He will face Greece’s defending champion Stefanos Tsitsipas, who beat second seed Alexander Zverev 6-4, 6-2.

Zverev, who had an issue with his right thigh in the quarter-final, looked fatigued in the second set, while Tsitsipas was clinical to set up a third clash with the young Spaniard, and their second match at Monte Carlo.

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