Allon Sinai's Beijing Diary: The dream disappears

Andy Ram and Yoni Erlich may have tried to put on a brave face after Tuesday's defeat, but no one was buying it.

allon sinai Olympics 88 (photo credit: )
allon sinai Olympics 88
(photo credit: )
Andy Ram and Yoni Erlich may have tried to put on a brave face after Tuesday's bitterly disappointing defeat, but no one was buying it. Since the last Olympics in Athens, the duo couldn't stop speaking of their dream to claim an Olympic medal for Israel and had repeatedly said that their entire focus in 2008 would be on the Games. It took, however, just a single minute on Tuesday for the dream to turn into a nightmare with Michael Llodra and Arnaud Clement quickly wrapping up the victory by taking the one game they needed when rain stopped play on Monday night. Ram and Erlich entered the post-match press conference with their trademark smiles and despite speaking of their disappointment, it was quite obvious that they weren't showing their real emotions. One can only imagine how gutted the tennis team must feel, especially with such expectations being placed on their shoulders ahead of the Games. Seeded third, the duo was widely regarded as one of Israel's best medal hopes. Ram and Erlich realized that everybody in the room understood that they weren't revealing how they truly felt, and half-jokingly said that the disappointment they're feeling is as big as the smiles across their faces. There is at least one consolation for the top doubles duo. Unlike most Olympians, Ram and Erlich don't need to wait four years to redeem themselves and can already do so in two weeks time when the US Open gets under way. The above, however, will give the duo only little comfort. Ram and Erlich know that Tuesday's defeat wasn't just another loss, as far more was at stake than usual. The duo was playing for the pride of a nation at the Games and their capitulation ended not just their dreams, but those of Israelis everywhere.