Ram and Erlich will be participating in their third straight Olympics and with just 32 teams in the draw, will be optimistic of springing a surprise.

The Israelis had to wait anxiously until discovering two weeks ago that they had been handed one of the ITF’s eight places at the Olympic doubles tournament at Wimbledon, with 24 duos receiving direct acceptance.

Ram and Erlich, who are ranked No. 44 and 43 in the world, respectively, have not achieved much success in big events since returning to play together on a weekly basis at the start of last year.

The duo hasn’t been past a Grand Slam second round in seven attempts since, and apart from winning the small tournament in Belgrade in May, has had little to cheer about in 2012.

Ram and Erlich will perhaps try and draw some encouragement from the fact that they excelled in the 2004 Athens Games, going all the way to the quarterfinals despite only being at the start of their partnership.

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They lost in the first round of the Beijing Games in 2008 despite experiencing the best year of their career, winning the Australian Open and entering the event ranked at No. 5 in the world.

Singles players like Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, as well as the world’s top doubles teams, will all be competing in London, but Olympic tennis events often have unexpected outcomes, giving Ram and Erlich at least a little hope.

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