Melbourne, Australia, 2 February 2020 | Matt Trollope

Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury ended Max Purcell and Luke Saville’s fairytale Australian Open run with victory in Sunday’s doubles final at Rod Laver Arena.

The American-British duo overwhelmed the Australian wildcards 6-4 6-2 to win their first Grand Slam men’s doubles title.

Despite the defeat, Purcell and Saville are projected to rise to around 40 in the doubles rankings (Saville at 38, Purcell at 41) and together take home the biggest pay cheque of their respective careers.

“It’s been great fun to share the court with a really good mate. And to win five matches at a Grand Slam, it’s amazing,” Saville said.

“It wasn’t the result (we hoped for) today. (But) we played well first round, to knock off the eighth seeds in the second round in an epic was amazing. Probably the semi, to come from a set down against the fourth seeds, and even our third round, on Show Court 3, on Australia Day, was a joke. Just the whole week (was a highlight).

“We can really build on this Aussie Open, honestly. It’s been a roller coaster, it’s been long few weeks for us, we’re going to take a few days to digest the result. It really sets up our year, honestly.”

Ram and Salisbury broke serve in the seventh game of the first set and consolidated that with a hold to push ahead 5-3.

Purcell saved two set points on his serve in the following game to keep the Aussies alive, yet the 11th seeds served out the opening set and pushed ahead 5-1 in the second, helped by a resounding break at love in the third game during which errors hurt the local pair.

A tight seventh game unfolded in which Saville and Purcell eventually held to remain in the contest, but with Ram serving for the title, he and Salisbury did not falter.

“I don’t really think that (unforced errors) was the case,” Purcell said when reflecting on the match.

“Maybe we missed some balls, but I feel like the pressure they put on us, we might have had some balls we shouldn’t have missed, but the fact that we so had much pressure because they weren’t giving us those balls so often, made them forced errors, (even if) on paper they’re not counted as that.

“All credit to them — they played way too good today. And regardless if we played as good as we had all tournament, I don’t think we were beating that level today.

“We have to take our hats off to them — they won today and they’re Grand Slam champions, and we’re still trying to hold our head high.”