Doubles win for Pe'er, loss for Ram, Erlich [pg. 12]

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March 15, 2006 06:10
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Shahar Pe'er's strong run of form rolled over into the doubles event on Monday at the Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells, California, while the men's doubles duo of Andy Ram and Yoni Erlich was ousted in the first round. Pe'er, teaming with Australian Bryanne Stewart for the first time in their careers, benefited when French opponents Nathalie Dechy and Tatiana Golovin retired after one set in the first round. Pe'er and Stewart won that set 6-3. They'll next face the tournament's No. 3 seeds, Virginia Ruano Pascual of Spain and Meghann Shaughnessy, for a spot in the quarterfinals. Thus far, Pe'er's visit to Indian Wells has been a huge success, as she's reeled off a pair of solid wins in the singles. She was scheduled to face former world No. 1 Maria Sharapova Tuesday night after press time in the fourth round. The match was to be played in front of a large crowd on center court. Ram and Erlich's stay was shorter than they had hoped, after losing in a matchtiebreaker to Spanish star Rafael Nadal and Russia's Mikhail Youzhny. The seventh-seeded Israeli duo won the first set 6-3, but Nadal and Youzhny evened the match by winning the second 6-4. New ATP rules have eliminated the third set for doublesand the players instead go to a first-to-10-points tiebreaker, which Nadal and Youzhny took 10-7. Earlier Monday, Anna Smashnova was also eliminated, losing 2-6, 6-1, 6-2 to Germany's Anna-Lena Groenefeld in the women's singles third round.

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