Israelis crash out of Olympic tennis

Ram and Erlich, Pe'er and Obziler all defeated in black day in Beijing.

ram erlich 224.88 (photo credit: AP)
ram erlich 224.88
(photo credit: AP)
Four losses in four matches on Tuesday ended Israeli interest in the Beijing Olympic tennis tournament. The most disappointing loss, despite its predictability, was in the first round of the men's doubles tournament. Andy Ram and Yoni Erlich didn't get the miracle they had prayed for overnight after rain stopped play with the score at 4-6, 4-5 on Monday, and were knocked out of the tournament in just one minute of play on Tuesday. The Israeli duo, which was seeded third in the event and was one of the delegation's favorites for a medal, lost 4-6, 4-6, failing to break Michael Llodra and Arnaud Clement in the one and only game to be played on the day. "We expected a lot from ourselves and we knew we were expected to win a medal," Ram said. "They played better than us on Monday and there's not much else we can say. "We have no excuses and there's no one we can blame for this defeat. "We came into the tournament in good form and after an excellent tournament in Cincinnati. We could play Llodra and Clement next week and beat them and the real shame of this all is that this defeat came at the Olympics." Shahar Pe'er's and Tzipi Obziler's Olympics were also brought to an end on Tuesday after both lost their singles matches and then teamed-up to be knocked out in the doubles. Pe'er, who claimed Israel's only win of the Olympic tournament on Monday, lost 3-6, 6-7 (4) to ninth seed Vera Zvonareva in a high level second round match. The Israeli and Russian exchanged fierce ground strokes from the back of the court for most of the encounter, but Zvonareva had the edge on the big points and claimed the win. Despite being down a match point while trailing 3-5 in the second set, Pe'er fought her way back to a tiebreak and at 4-4 in the breaker could have taken a crucial point towards tying the match, but buried an easy volley into the net and ended losing the set and the match. "I think I played quite well," Pe'er said. "At certain stages the level of play was of a very high standard and the match could have gone either way." Resuming her match 3-5 down to Mariya Koryttseva in the first set, Obziler claimed the first four games on Tuesday to take the set, but couldn't maintain her momentum and lost eventually 7-5, 5-7, 6-4 to the Ukrainian. After just an hour of rest, Pe'er and Obziler teamed-up to face Gisela Dulko and Betina Jozami in the first round of the doubles tournament and went down 3-6, 2-6, ending Israeli involvement in a very disappointing Olympic tennis tournament.