ram erlich 88.
(photo credit: AP)
Andy Ram and Yoni Erlich are still searching for their first career ATP Masters Series title after losing to Czech Martin Damm and Indian Leander Paes 6-4, 6-4 in the final of the Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells, California, on Sunday.
The defeat was the Israelis' third in a Masters Series final; they lost in the title match at Rome last year and Montreal the year before. Despite the loss in the final of the $3.285 million tournament, the duo nevertheless jumped from 12th to sixth in the ATP doubles rankings, which were released on Monday, and are in excellent form ahead of Israel's Davis Cup tie against Italy April 6-8.
Ram and Erlich, who have now lost two finals in a row after succumbing to the Bryan brothers in their previous tournament in Las Vegas two weeks ago, failed to convert any of their five break points during the match and allowed Damm and Paes to claim the title with a single break in each set.
"Our partnership is 15 months old and all the hard work we put in the beginning of last year is really coming together now," Paes said. "The results really take care of themselves, but we are playing like a team that's been together for a few years. I am really enjoying the partnership."
After splitting the first six games of the match, Damm and Paes broke the Israeli in the seventh game and three games later wrapped up the set with another solid service game.
The second and last break of the match came in the fifth game of the second set, giving the Czech/Indian duo a 3-2 lead. Damm and Paes remained in front for the remainder of the set and, after an hour and 27 minutes, clinched the title with another excellent service game.