Ram/Knowles through to semis

Shahar Pe’er’s tournament comes to an end after loss in the doubles' quarterfinals.

By PARIS
June 2, 2010 08:36
2 minute read.
Ram/Knowles through to semis

andy ram france 248 88 ap. (photo credit: AP [file])

PARIS – Andy Ram added another landmark accomplishment to his resume on Tuesday, advancing to the semifinals of the men’s doubles tournament at Roland Garros for the first time.

The 30-year-old Israeli has now reached at least the semifinals in all four Grand Slam events.

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Ram made the last four at Wimbledon with Yoni Erlich in 2003, won the Australian Open with Erlich in 2008, progressed to the semis at the US Open with Max Mirnyi last year and on Tuesday booked his place in the semifinals at the French Open with Julian Knowle after a 6-7 (3), 6-2, 6-0 victory over Brazilians Marcelo Melo and Bruno Soares.

The Israeli/Austrian duo, seeded number 10 at Roland Garros, took a little time to get going, but once they found their rhythm were clinical, hitting winner after winner and racing away with the final two sets.

Next up for Ram and Knowle is a semifinal meeting against No. 3 seeds Lukas Dlouhy and Leander Paes on Thursday.

Dlouhy and Paes beat No. 8 seeds Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski 6-1, 6-3 on Tuesday.

Shahar Pe’er’s tournament in Paris came to an end on Tuesday after a loss in the quarterfinals of the doubles. Pe’er and Monica Niculescu lost 6-2, 6-4 to No. 2 seeds Nuria Llagostera Vives and Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez.

Pe’er, who was playing with Niculescu for the first time, will return to Israel for a short break before turning her attention to the grass courts, first at Eastbourne in just under two weeks time and then at the All England Club at Wimbledon.

Pe’er’s superb clay court season, during which she reached the semifinals at Madrid and Stuttgart before progressing to the last 16 at Roland Garros, will likely see her rise to a new career-best ranking of No. 14 in the world next week, just another step on the way to the top-10 according to her coach Pablo Giacopelli.

“I have do doubt Pe’er will get to the top-10 this year or at least get very near to it,” Giacopelli told The Jerusalem Post. “But the key is always not about getting there but staying there. That shows the player is solid mentally and her tennis is solid enough.

“I think tennis-wise and physically-wise she is ready to take the next step and we are already seeing her taking it. But psychologically she still has to move forward considerably.”

Giacopelli was satisfied with Pe’er’s performance at Roland Garros, but was very disappointed with her display against Serena Williams in the fourth round.

“I think it has been a very successful clay court season,” he said. “We have won some very significant matches. We have been able to improve in many areas, but I have also realized the areas that we still need to improve further if we want to continue moving forward.

“The improvement in the rankings is very impressive, but we also must remember that she didn’t have any significant points to defend.

“I was pleased with the performance at Roland Garros, but I wasn’t terribly pleased with the match against Serena. Unfortunately against three or four players in the world Shahar still doesn’t have the tools mentally to be able to cope with the situation and play her game. These are the same tools that are going to enable her to be a top-10 player.”


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