Ram and Erlich take Thai title

Win puts Israeli duo within touching distance of Masters Cup in Shanghai.

By
October 3, 2006 00:23
2 minute read.
Ram and Erlich take Thai title

tennis 88. (photo credit: )

 
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Andy Ram and Yoni Erlich won their fourth tournament of the year on Sunday, defeating British brothers Andy and Jamie Murray 6-2, 2-6, 10-4, in the final of the Thailand Open in Bangkok. The Israeli duo picked up a $26,550 winners check and 175 ranking points that put them within touching distance of the season-ending Masters Cup in Shanghai, China which will only feature the world's top eight doubles teams. "For four years we've been coming and we've won it twice, and been finalists once. It's a great place to play tennis," Ram said on Sunday. "This is another big step towards making it to the tennis Masters Cup. I think it would now take something extraordinary to happen for us not to make it. "We are one of the best teams this year and we deserve to be there. We were the No. 9 team last year and only served as alternates, so this year we want to play there." Ram and Erlich, who also won in Bangkok in 2003, almost didn't take part in the Thailand Open after the recent military coup in the country, but their decision to participate more than paid off on Sunday. The duo will return to Israel on Tuesday, before flying out next week to Vienna for the first of their four remaining tournaments before the season finale in China. After splitting the first two games of the first set on Sunday, Ram and Erlich triumphed in the next three games to grab an early 4-1 lead. The Murrays won the following game, but the Israelis broke the Brits to love in the eighth game of the set winning it 6-2. The Murrays took advantage of a lapse in concentration by the Israelis at the start of the second set and raced forward, taking a 4-2 lead. The British duo broke Ram and Erlich in the following game and went on to close out the set 6-2. With the match tied at one set all, the final went into a deciding tiebreaker, which Ram and Erlich began in the best possible way. The Israelis won the first five points of the breaker, seizing what would prove to be an unassailable lead. The Brits managed to reduce the deficit to 6-3, but couldn't get any closer. Ram and Erlich won four of the next five points and secured their ninth career title as a doubles team. "In the second set I didn't feel comfortable and my serve percentage was low," Erlich said after the final. "But I told Andy I would come out strong, aggressive and decisive in the Match Tie-break and we played great at the end." In other tennis news, Eleni Daniilidou of Greece held on for a 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (3) win over fourth-seeded Ai Sugiyama of Japan in the Korea Open final Sunday. And in Italy, local Filippo Volandri won the Palermo International, beating Nicolas Lapentti of Ecuador 5-7, 6-1, 6-3. AP contributed to this report.

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