Tennis: Ram, Erlich seeded third in doubles

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August 8, 2008 00:57
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Israel's tennis stars discovered on Thursday who stands in their way of leaving Beijing with an Olympic medal. Andy Ram and Yoni Erlich, who are one of the delegation's top medal hopes in China, were seeded third in Thursday's draw, but will still face a very tough first round match against Arnaud Clement and Michael Llodra. The French duo claimed the Wimbledon title last year and reached the final of the Australian Open in January, losing of course to Ram and Erlich. Shahar Pe'er (25 in the world) will play Romanian Sorana Cirstea (57) in the first round of the women's singles, and should she win will next face the winner of the match between No. 9 seed Vera Zvonareva and China's Zi Yan. In the women's doubles, Pe'er and Tzipi Obziler play Gisela Dulko and Betina Jozami in the opening round. Top-ranked Roger Federer will play Dmitry Tursunov of Russia in the first round. Rafael Nadal, who will replace Federer atop the rankings in the week after the Olympic tournament, drew Potito Starace of Italy and will meet either former No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt or Jonas Bjorkman of Sweden in the second round. Third-ranked Novak Djokovic faces Robby Ginepri of the United States, and James Blake is up against Chris Guccione of Australia. On the women's side, top-seeded Ana Ivanovic takes on Mariya Koryttseva of Ukraine, and No. 3 Svetlana Kuznetsova meets Li Na of China. Bjorkman and Koryttseva were among the 12 players granted special places in the Olympic tournament by the International Tennis Federation. AP contributed to this report.

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