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Andy Ram and Yoni Erlich edged even closer to securing a spot in the season-ending Masters Cup on Tuesday afternoon, defeating Novak Djokovic and Dominik Hrbaty 6-4, 6-2 to advance to the quarterfinals of the BA-CA Tennis Trophy tournament in Vienna.
The Israelis have four more tournaments remaining until the Masters Cup in China and a good showing in Vienna could secure their place among the world's top eight doubles teams that will take part in the season finale.
Ram and Erlich began their first-round match well and took an early 4-1 lead. Djokovic and Hrbaty fought back immediately and won three straight games to tie the score. The Israelis ended their opponents' short run in the next game and went on to win the first set 6-4.
After splitting the first four games of the second set, Ram and Erlich surged forward and took the next four games.
The Israelis, who are the No. 1 seeds in Vienna, will play Martin Garcia and Michael Kohlmann for a place in the semifinal.
Shahar Pe'er also had success in doubles on Tuesday, advancing to the quarterfinals of the Kremlin Cup in Moscow with Italian partner Mara Santangelo.
Pe'er and Santangelo defeated Anastassia Rodionova and Andreea Vanc 6-3, 6-4 in 69 minutes. The Israeli/Italian team got off to a good start in the match, winning four of the first five games.
The second set was a tighter affair with the first six games being split between the teams. Pe'er and Santangelo got a crucial break in the seventh game of the second set and held on to their lead until the end of the match.
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