Andy Ram and Yoni Erlich missed a chance to capture their third doubles title of the year Sunday when they fell to top seeds Paul Hanley and Leander Paes 5-6(5), 6-1, 6-2 in the final of the Thailand Open in Bangkok. The defeat was their third straight in a final after losing in Los Angeles and Montreal.
The players' serves turned out to be the difference as Hanley and Paes remained in control, while Ram and Erlich were broken often in the second and third sets.
Nevertheless, Ram and Erlich will climb from ninth to seventh in the ATP Doubles race rankings that will be released on Monday morning, ironically overtaking Hanley, who did not play in Bangkok with his regular partner. The top eight teams in the race will be invited to the year-end Masters Cup in November in Shanghai.
Ram and Erlich were seeking their second title at the Thailand Open, after winning the debut event two years ago.
After playing every day since Thursday, the Israeli pair decided to forgo on their participation in this week's Japan Open in Tokyo, leaving Shahar Pe'er as the lone Israeli at the event. Pe'er, ranked 46th in the world, will face France's Marion Bartoli (46) in the opening round. The winner will likely play top seed Vera Zvonareva (22) in the second round.
Pe'er will also take part in the doubles, teaming with young Indian sensation Sania Mirza to play Americans Jill Craybas and Carly Gullickson in the first round.
Also in action this week is Tzipi Obziler (156), who is scheduled to face Mara Santangelo (100) of Italy in the opening round of the Tashkent Open in Uzbekistan.
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