Andy Ram and Yoni Erlich needed exactly one hour to cruise to a straight-sets win in their opening-round match.
By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
After the first two days of the Australian Open saw all four Israeli representatives lose in the first round of the singles competition, day three brought some smiles to the blue-and-white players. Andy Ram and Yoni Erlich needed exactly one hour to cruise to a straight-sets win in their opening-round match, while Harel Levy and his South African partner took three minutes less in their victory.
On Thursday, the Israeli women will begin their part in the doubles. Shahar Pe'er and Russian partner Vera Dushevina, who reached the quarterfinals last year at Wimbledon, have a tough challenge in the fourth seeds, Paola Suarez of Argentina and Spain's Virginia Ruano Pascual, who won the doubles title in Melbourne two years ago. Anna Smashnova will join forces with Dally Randriantefy of Madagascar to face the 10th seeds, Russian Maria Kirilenko and Gisela Dulko of Argentina.
Ram and Erlich, seeded sixth, rolled past Argentina's Jaun Monaco and Albert Montanes of Spain 6-3, 6-2. In the next round they'll face the winner of the match between Americans Robby Ginepri and Bobby Reynolds and Australians Robert Smeets and Paul Baccanello.
Levy and Chris Haggard bounced Frenchmen Marc Gicquel and Gael Monfils by the same scoreline. They will next meet the 13th seeds,0 Jose Acasuso and Sebastian Prieto of Argentina.
The mixed doubles draw was released Wednesday. Pe'er and Erlich will join forces for the first time against the eighth seeds, Australians Todd Perry and Rennae Stubbs. Ram is seeded seventh along with South African Liezel Huber. They will open versus Serbian Nenad Zimonjic and Slovenian Katarina Srebotnik.