Tennis: Ram, Erlich fail to finish off Bryan brothers

Lose to world's No. 1 duo of Bob and Mike Bryan on Wednesday, 7-6 (1), 3-6, 11-9 in the quarterfinals of the Sydney International.

Ram-Ehrlich 88 (photo credit:)
Ram-Ehrlich 88
(photo credit: )
Andy Ram and Yoni Erlich squandered two match points against the world's No. 1 duo of Bob and Mike Bryan on Wednesday, losing 7-6 (1), 3-6, 11-9 in the quarterfinals of the Sydney International. The Israeli team led 9-7 in the match tiebreaker, but lost the last four points of the encounter and missed out on a semifinal berth.A Ram and Erlich will leave for Melbourne in the coming days, ahead of the Australian Open, which gets under way on Monday. Harel Levy and Noam Okun will face each other in the second qualifying round of the year's first Grand Slam after both won their first round encounters on Wednesday. Levy defeated Germany's Daniel Brands 6-4, 3-6, 7-5, with Okun advancing after Andis Juska of Latvia retired with the score at 5-7, 5-0. Richard Gasquet and Lleyton Hewitt crashed out of the men's draw in Sydney on Wednesday as women's No. 1-seeded Justine Henin breezed into the semifinals of the Australian Open warm-up event. No. 1-seeded Gasquet was beaten by Russian Dmitry Tursunov 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in their second-round match. Gasquet has had little court time since arriving in Australia, as he pulled out of last week's tournament in Adelaide due to a knee injury. No. 6-seeded Hewitt will have to complete his Australian Open preparations on the practice court after being upset by Davis Cup teammate Chris Guccione 7-6 (4), 7-6 (2). Guccione used his potent serve to rifle 23 aces past Hewitt. Henin reached the semifinals after only 52 minutes on court in the tournament. The two-time Sydney champion received a first-round bye and a second-round walkover, before cruising past Estonian qualifier Kaia Kanepi 6-2, 6-0 on Wednesday. Henin will play No. 4 Ana Ivanovic in the semifinals after the Serb beat Katarina Srebotnik 6-3, 3-6, 6-2. No. 2 Svetlana Kuznetsova, who defeated Shahar Pe'er in the second round, also progressed to the last four after beating Italian Francesca Schiavone 6-4, 6-0. She will play Nicole Vaidisova, a 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 winner over third-seeded Jelena Jankovic in the late quarterfinal. AP contributed to this report