Andy and Yoni triumphant together again at Israel Open
Israelis refused to commit if and when they will team up on a regular basis once more.
By ALLON SINAI, AP
Andy Ram and Yoni Erlich claimed the Israel Open title for the second time in three years on Saturday, but refused to commit if and when they will team up on a regular basis once more.Despite playing in just their second tournament together this year, Ram and Erlich had little trouble claiming a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Alexander Peya and Simon Stadler in the final of the Challenger tournament in Ramat Hasharon.However, with Erlich only ranked No. 88 in the world, 70 places below Ram, it seems unlikely the two will join forces on a weekly basis any time soon.“We hope to play together again in the near future,” said Ram, who remains confident he will collaborate with Erlich week in-week out in 2011.Conor Niland won the singles tournament at Ramat Hasharon, beating Thiago Alves 5-7, 7-6 (5), 6-3.Meanwhile, Roger Federer was knocked out of the Estoril Open semifinalson Saturday, falling 6-2, 7-6 (5) to defending champion Albert Montanesof Spain.The top-ranked Swiss star made 19 unforced errors in the first set,mostly on his backhand. He was more consistent in the second set, butstill could not deny Montanes.Federer is six weeks away from breaking Pete Sampras’ all-time recordof 286 weeks at No. 1. He lost to 40th-ranked Ernests Gulbis at theRome Masters recently as he prepares to defend his French Open titlethis month.Also Saturday, unseeded Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez of Spain sliced herway to the Italian Open title, frustrating seventh-ranked JelenaJankovic 7-6 (5), 7-5. It’s the first Tier I title for the 26th-rankedMartinez Sanchez.Also late on Saturday, Shahar Pe’er advanced to the second round of theMadrid Open, beating world No. 5 Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-3, 2-6, 6-0.
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