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Israeli Yoni Erlich claimed his first ATP Tour title in almost two years..(Photo by: YONI ARIELI)
Erlich and Muslim partner win doubles event
By ALLON SINAI
10/02/2017
“Playing with Qureshi shows that it doesn’t matter what your religion is as long as there is mutual respect.”
Israeli Yoni Erlich claimed his first ATP Tour title in almost two years on Sunday, triumphing in the Chengdu Open doubles event in China with Pakistani partner Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi.

The Jewish/Muslim duo defeated Marcos Daniell and Marcelo Demoliner 6-3, 7-6 (3) in the final and will share a check of $55,730, as well as 250 rankings points. The 40-yearold Erlich, who doesn’t have a regular partner, entered the tournament ranked No. 105 in doubles, but will return to the top 100 when the new rankings are released on Monday.

Erlich had lost his past three finals on the ATP Tour, with his last title also coming in China, with Britain’s Colin Fleming in the Shenzhen Open in October 2015.

Sunday’s win gave Erlich his 19th career ATP doubles title – 14 of which came with retired fellow Israeli Andy Ram – while improving his overall record in finals to 19-19.

“I’m so happy. This is my first title in two years and I’ve waited for this for a long time after losing a few finals,” said Erlich. “A lot of tight matches didn’t go my way this summer and finally things fell into place. I hope to continue like this and end the season on a sweet note.

“Playing with Qureshi shows that it doesn’t matter what your religion is as long as there is mutual respect,” added Erlich.
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