Andy Ram and Yoni Erlich
lost to Australians Wayne Arthurs and Paul Hanley
3-6, 7-6(7), 4-6 in the first round of the Masters Series event in Madrid Wednesday night.
Israel's top tennis duo, currently eighth in the ATP Doubles Race, are fighting for one of eight spots at the year-end Masters Cup in November in Shanghai. Ram and Erlich are just behind Arthurs and Hanley in the rankings and there are only two more events at which teams can make up points.
Arthurs and Hanley arrived in Madrid in good form after winning the Stockholm Open on Sunday, while Ram and Erlich lost in the BA-CA Tennis Trophy final the same day.