Ram and Erlich move on at Wimbledon

Advance to third round of men's doubles with a 7-5, 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 victory over Wayne Arthurs and Justin Gimelstob.

ram and erlich 88 (photo credit: )
ram and erlich 88
(photo credit: )
Andy Ram and Yoni Erlich dodged a bullet in the form of Wayne Arthurs and Justin Gimelstob to advance to the third round of the Wimbledon men's doubles with a 7-5, 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(6) victory on Saturday. But later in the day, Erlich's mixed doubles bid ended after one match and Shahar Pe'er was eliminated from the ladies' doubles. Ram and Erlich cruised through the opening two sets before running into a fierce challenge from their American and Australian opponents. Arthurs and Gimelstob took the third set and then went up a break in the fourth. With Gimelstob serving for set in the 10th game, Ram and Erlich regained their touch, broke back and then defended their own serve, enough to force a tiebreaker. However, Arthurs and Gimelstob pulled ahead there as well, earning two set points. But with Ram leading the way, the Israeli No. 5 seeds ran off four straight points to win the match and advance to the third round for the second year in a row. Next they face the 11th-seeded Czech duo of Lukas Dlouhy and Pavel Vizner, playing together at the All England Club for the first time. Pe'er, who reached the quarterfinals last year at Wimbledon in her Grand Slam doubles debut, and French partner Marion Bartoli were outplayed by Spain's Virginia Ruano Pascual and Paola Suarez of Argentina in the second round 6-4, 6-1. Erlich and mixed doubles partner Dinara Safina couldn't hold on to an early lead against Argentina's Sebastian Prieto and Flavia Pennetta of Italy, losing 1-6, 6-4, 6-3. On Friday, Anna Smashnova was also ousted from the ladies' doubles by Pascual and Suarez. Smashnova and partner Virginie Razzano lost 6-2, 6-1. The results leave Ram and Erlich in men's doubles; and Ram, who is teaming with Russian Vera Zvonareva, and Pe'er, together with New Zealand's Kevin Ullyett in the mixed doubles, as the only remaining Israelis in action. Ram and Zvonareva, who are seeded ninth and received a first-round bye, next face South African Chris Haggard and Eleni Daniilidou of Greece, while Pe'er and Ullyett, seeded 15th, get Wesley Moodie of South Africa and Russian Vera Dushevina in the second round.