Tennis: Ram, Erlich lift Masters Series title

By
August 20, 2007 04:07

Defeat Bob and Mike Bryan 4-6, 6-3, 13-11 in the Western & Southern Financial Group Masters in Cincinnati.

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Andy Ram and Yoni Erlich claimed their first career ATP Masters Series title in dramatic fashion on Sunday night. The Israeli duo lifted their first trophy of 2007 after defeating the world's best doubles team of Bob and Mike Bryan 4-6, 6-3, 13-11 in the Western & Southern Financial Group Masters in Cincinnati. Ram and Erlich were one point away from losing to the Bryan brothers in the decisive match tiebreaker, but the team, which was seeded sixth at the event, saved the match point and reeled off three straight points to wrap-up the victory. The Israeli's, who won four titles in 2006, had lost their first three finals of the year, including two to the Bryans, who have already won a personal-best eight titles in 2007. In recent weeks Ram and Erlich have reached the final of the Washington tournament, the semis of the Rogers Cup at Montreal and have now also clinched the biggest title of their career. Their rich vein of form will no doubt boost their confidence ahead of the US Open which gets underway on August 27 and raise the team's hopes of finally taking a first Grand Slam title. The Bryan's stormed into a 4-0 lead at the start of the match, breaking the Israeli's twice with relative ease. Ram and Erlich managed to close within one game of their opposition, but the American team held serve in the 10th game and took a one set lead. Ram and Erlich opened a 2-0 lead in the second set and went up 4-1 after saving a break point and holding serve in the fifth game. The duo remained ahead throughout the remainder of the set and tied the match with a love service game. The Israeli's opened a 5-2 lead in the match tiebreaker, but the final headed towards a thrilling conclusion after the Bryan's tied the score (5-5). Ram and Erlich squandered one match point (10-9), but didn't waste their second and completed the victory.


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