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(photo credit: Getty Images/Pilot Pen Tennis)
Andy Ram and Yoni Erlich advanced to the quarterfinals of the Thailand Open in Bangkok on Tuesday after defeating Julien Benneteau of France and Jeff Coetzee of South Africa 7-6(5), 6-4.
The Israelis, who won in Bangkok in 2003 and were finalists last year, will be looking to accumulate as many points as possible this week and move closer to booking a place in the year-ending tournament in Shanghai, China, which will feature the world's top eight doubles teams.
"The main goal this year is to get to the Tennis Masters Cup in Shanghai," Ram wrote on Tuesday in a blog appearing on the official ATP Web site. "Last year we got to go as spectators, as the wild-card reserve team. This time around we are in a good position to qualify with five tournaments to go. Obviously, we believe in ourselves making it this year and since 2003 we have been finishing higher and higher in the rankings."
The first set of Tuesday's match went to a tiebreak after both teams held on to their serve throughout the entire set. Ram and Erlich took an early 5-1 lead in the breaker and eventually wrapped it up 7-5.
The Israeli duo got a crucial break of serve in the third game of the second set and held on to their lead for the entire set, ultimately winning 6-4.
Ram and Erlich's opponents in the quarterfinals will be the winner of the match between the German team of Benjamin Becker and Lars Burgsmuller and the Czech duo of Jiri Novak and Petr Pala.