Ram, Erlich out in second

Andy Ram and Yoni Erlich all but end Israeli hopes of a successful season-opening Grand Slam.

ram , erlich 88 (photo credit: )
ram , erlich 88
(photo credit: )
Andy Ram and Yoni Erlich bowed out of the Australian Open men's doubles in the second round Saturday to all but end Israeli hopes of a successful season-opening Grand Slam. A defeat later in the day for Erlich and Shahar Pe'er in the mixed doubles and Har el Levy's men's doubles exit on Friday, the only remaining blue-and-white players in Melbourne are Ram, who will play in the mixed doubles with South African Liezel Huber, and Keren Shlomo in the girls' event. Ram and Erlich lost a third-set tiebreaker t o Australians Paul Baccanello and Robert Smeets to fall 6-4, 1-6, 7-6(5) in a two hour, 23-minute marathon. The sixth seeded Israelis played well and actually won more points that their opponents (107-98), but backed by the home fans, Baccanello and Smeet s won the key points. Erlich and Pe'er lost 7-5, 6-3 to eighth-seeded Australians Todd Perry and Rennae Stubbs in their first match together. That wrapped up a tournament where Pe'er went 0-for-3, losing in the first round of the singles, women's doubles and mixed doubles. On Friday Levy and South African partner Chris Haggard were defeated by the 13th seeds from Argentina, Jose Acasuso and Sebastian Prieto 6-4, 6-4. On Sunday, Ram and Huber, seeded seventh, take on Serbian Nenad Zimonjic and Katarina Srebotnik of Slovenia in the opening round of the mixed doubles. Ram has a history of success in mixed doubles events. Last year he teamed with Spain's Conchita Martinez to reach the semifinals in Melbourne. He also reached the Wimbledon mixed final in 2003.a