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(photo credit: Getty Images/Pilot Pen Tennis)
Andy Ram and Yoni Erlich lost 7-6, 6-7, 6-2 to Arnaud Clement and Michael Llodra of France in the third round of the US Open late Monday night.
The seventh-seeded pair had to settle for $25,000 and the knowledge that they have edged closer to booking their spot in the year-ending Masters Tournament.
The Masters features the top eight doubles pairing in the world. Ram and Erlich will need to maintain their current ranking for the next three months to appear in the tournament in China.
The Israelis were broken at the start of the first set. They broke back almost immediately and tied the score at 4-4. Ram and Erlich dominated the tiebreaker to win it 7-2 and took the set 7-6.
Both teams held on to their serves in the second set and once more the winner had to be decided on a tiebreaker. The Israelis saved two set points in the breaker, but the Frenchman wrapped up the set.
Clement and Llodra raced ahead at the start of the third set and broke Ram and Erlich twice to take a 4-0 lead. The Israelis won their next two games on serve.
However, it was too little, too late, and the Frenchmen closed out the set 6-2 and advanced to the fourth round.