Ram erlich 298 88.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Andy Ram's and Yoni Erlich's joy of clinching a spot in the season-ending Masters Cup was slightly dampened on Tuesday afternoon when they lost 6-2, 7-5, to Polish pair Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski in the first round of the Masters series tournament in Paris.
Ironically, the Israelis secured a place in the season finale after the Poles, who are currently ranked eighth in the doubles race, lost earlier in the week in the final of the ATP tournament in Basle. The defeat in Switzerland meant that Ram and Erlich, who are seventh in the doubles race, could no longer drop out of the world's top eight teams and secured their spot in Shanghai in the tournament that will begin in November 13.
Ram and Erlich will make their first appearance in the Masters Cup after just missing out last year and serving as alternates.
On Tuesday, the Poles raced to an early 4-1 lead after breaking the Israelis serve twice in the first five games and wrapped up the set 6-2 after 26 minutes.
The first 10 games of the second set went according to serve, but Fyrstenberg and Matkowski got a crucial break in the 11th game and advanced to the second round with their first match point in the subsequent game.
Pe'er edges closer to top 20
Shahar Pe'er tied her careerbest ranking of No. 21 in the new WTA rankings released this week. The 19-year-old, who played her last tournament of the season last week in Linz, Austria, climbed one spot from the previous week and could break into the world's top 20 before the year ends if the players ranked directly above her do poorly in the next couple of weeks.
Anna Smashnova, who has also ended her season, dropped two spots to No. 65 in the world rankings, while Tzipi Obziler maintained her current position of No. 108.