Pe'er ousted, Ram & Erlich fight on

Shahar Pe'er was battered into submission by world No. 5 Elena Dementieva in the fourth round, denying her the opportunity to play in the quarterfinals.

shahar peer 224.88 (photo credit: AP [file])
shahar peer 224.88
(photo credit: AP [file])
It was a day of mixed fortunes for Israel's top players at Wimbledon on Monday. Shahar Pe'er was battered into submission by world No. 5 Elena Dementieva in the fourth round, denying her the opportunity to play in the quarterfinals. But there were cheers for Andy Ram and Yoni Erlich who battled from two sets down to beat Frenchmen Julien Benneteau and Nicolas Mahut to make it into the quarters of the men's doubles tournament. Pe'er, who was playing in the last 16 at the All England Club for the first time in her career, had no answer to Dementieva's superb ground strokes, losing 2-6, 1-6 in one hour and 15 minutes. Pe'er (26 in the world) hit just 11 unforced errors during the match, but the Russian's 24 winners gave Israel's No. 1 player no chance. Dementieva opened a quick 3-0 lead in the first set of Monday's match, saving four break points in the third game of the encounter. A love break in the eighth game clinched the first set, but a Pe'er break in the first game of the second set gave the Israeli some hope of mounting a comeback. The Russian would, however, break back immediately and reeled off six straight games to progress to the quarterfinals. The 21-year-old Pe'er has now lost four straight times to Dementieva, and was thrashed by the Russian for a second consecutive match on Monday, with the players last meeting in the third round of this year's Australian Open ending in a 6-2, 6-0 loss. Later Monday, Pe'er and Victoria Azarenka, who are seeded No. 6 in the doubles tournament, advanced to the quarterfinals with a 7-5, 6-4 victory over Dinara Safina and Agnes Szavay. Next up for the Israeli/Belarusian duo is the world's leading team of Cara Black and Liezel Huber. Meanwhile, Andy Ram and Yoni Erlich continued their remarkable Wimbledon run on Monday, coming back from two sets down for the second time in three matches to advance to the last eight. The Israeli duo, which needed five sets to come through each of its matches at SW19 so far this year, defeated Benneteau and Mahut 4-6, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (5), 6-3, 6-4 and will face No. 9 seeds Lukas Dlouhy and Leander Paes in the last eight. This is the first time Ram and Erlich have advanced past the third round of Wimbledon since reaching the semis in their first tournament as a team in 2003. "We didn't start as well as we normally do and they broke us early in the first set and that gave them confidence for the rest of the first set and the second," Ram told of the three hour and 35 minute long encounter. "In the third set we won the tiebreak and as soon as we did that everything changed. From then on we were stronger and they couldn't keep up the same level of play as the first two sets." Erlich said: "We've fallen behind in all our matches and that is something we need to work on. It's not something we're doing on purpose and we need to work on it. We've spent a lot of hours on the court and are getting more confident. We need to remain positve and try and begin our matches the way we finish them."