ram erlich tennis 298 88.
(photo credit: Lidor Goldberg / ITA)
Andy Ram and Yoni Erlich's dream of repeating their run to the Wimbledon semifinals ended hard on Monday with a third-round defeat at the hands of the 11th-seeded Czechs, Lukas Dlouhy and Pavel Vizner.
The Israelis, seeded fifth, came up short in a topsy-turvy match 7-6(4), 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(5).
Ram and Erlich burst onto the doubles scene in 2003 when they reached the semifinals as unknowns, who began their run from the qualifiers. But their strong form on grass, which included winning the tune-up event at Nottingham two weeks ago, betrayed them during first and fourth set tiebreakers.
After Dlouhy and Vizner fended off three set points in the ninth game of the third set, the Israelis succeeded in winning the set in the 10th game, which they hoped would be the start of a big comeback.
Then, down two sets to one and one game to none in the decisive fourth set, the Israelis battled back from the short end of a 40-love score to take the game. Ram and Erlich kept their comeback hopes alive, holding off five match points in the ninth and 10th games of the fourth set, eventually forcing the set into a tiebreaker.
But they fell behind Dlouhy and Vizner once again and despite fighting off three Czech match points, Ram and Erlich ultimately came up short against the Czech pair, which will face the top seeded Bryan brothers in the quarterfinals.
Ram would finish the day as a winner however, as he teamed with Russian Vera Zvonareva to oust South African Chris Haggard and Eleni Daniilidou of Greece in the second round of the mixed doubles competition 6-4, 2-6, 6-4. Ram and Zvonareva, the ninth seeds, next face No. 8 seeds Mark Knowles of the Bahamas and the legendary Martina Navratilova.
Ram and Navratilova met in the 2003 mixed doubles final at the All England Club. Then Navratilova, together with Leander Paes, defeated Ram and Russia's Anastassia Rodionova 6-3, 6-3.
The day was a downer for Shahar Pe'er, who went out in the mixed event. Pe'er and partner Kevin Ullyett of Zimbabwe fell to Wesley Moodie of South Africa and Vera Dushevina of Russia.
Pe'er now returns home to begin preparations for the upcoming Fed Cup World Group II playoff tie in two weeks against Indonesia.
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