Andy Ram arrived in London on Thursday with mixed emotions ahead of his participation in next week's ATP World Tour Finals at the O2 Arena.
Ram competed in the prestigious season-ending event, previously known as the Masters Cup, with Yoni Erlich in 2006 and 2007.
However, the 29-year-old doubles expert Ram qualified for this year's finals with Belarusian Max Mirnyi, with whom he played 15 tournaments during 2009 following the temporary breakup with his longtime Israeli partner due to Erlich's longterm injury.
"This is the first time I will be playing in this event without Erlich and that is very difficult," Ram said on Thursday.
"We spoke on the phone and he wished me luck. Nothing compares to traveling and playing with Yoni. No matter what I achieve with other partners it is different playing with Yoni.
"Nevertheless, on a personal level my goal at the start of the season was to reach this tournament and I'm very excited to be participating in the tennis event of the year."
Ram and Mirnyi, who are seeded seventh from the eight doubles teams which reached the event, will face Bob and Mike Bryan (2) in their first match on Monday.
The Israeli/Belarusian duo will play Lukas Dlouhy and Leander Paes (4) and Lukasz Kubot and Oliver Marach (6) in its other Group B matches, with the top two teams to qualify for the semifinals.
Besides receiving a $65,000 participation fee, Ram and Mirnyi will be awarded $22,500 for each match they win in the round robin stage, with a semi final victory worth an extra $30,000 and a final win another $125,000.
Ram and Mirnyi will split up after next week, with
the 32-year-old Belarusian to play a depleted schedule next year to focus on his family life.
"It was a real privilege to play with Mirnyi, one of the leading doubles players in recent years," Ram said.
"He is a rare man and a real professional. I enjoyed every moment and I'll have to wait and see who I will be playing with next year."
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