Tennis: Ram/Erlich fall in Miami quarters

Ram and Erlich save two match points, but Melzer and Petzschner convert their third opportunity sending the Israelis packing.

Andy Ram Yoni Erlich 248.88 (photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
Andy Ram Yoni Erlich 248.88
(photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
Andy Ram and Yoni Erlich just missed out on advancing to their first semifinal of the year on Wednesday, losing 4-6, 6-4, 10-8 to Jurgen Melzer and Phillip Petzschner in the quarterfinals of the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami.
Ram and Erlich, who won consecutive matches for the first time in 2011 in Miami, saved two match points, but Melzer and Petzschner converted their third opportunity and sent the Israelis packing.
After losing in the second round of the singles tournament, Shahar Pe’er has found success in the doubles event in Miami, progressing to the semis with Shuai Peng after Ana Ivanovic and Andrea Petkovic pulled out following rigorous singles matches.
The Israeli/Chinese duo will face Daniela Hantuchova and Agnieszka Radwanska in the last four.
Petkovic, fresh from beating world number one Caroline Wozniacki a day earlier, continued to display her exciting promise with a 2-6 6-2 6-4 triumph over Serbian Jankovic.
In a fourth round match, world No. 2 Kim Clijsters staved off five match points before edging Ana Ivanovic 7- 6 3-6 7-6 to keep her title defense alive.
In the men’s event, top seeds Rafa Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic all cruised into the quarterfinals.
After rain delays earlier in the day, Federer took to the court at 12.40 a.m. local time but made short work of Belgian Olivier Rochus, winning 6-3 6-1 in just 52 minutes.
Federer, who faces Frenchman Gilles Simon next, will meet Nadal in the semifinals should they both progress.
Nadal had a similarly easy match, facing virtually no resistance from Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov in a 6-1 6-2 victory.
Djokovic remains unbeaten in 2011, chalking up 21 successive wins, and that record was never in danger against fellow Serb Viktor Troicki in a straightforward 6-3 6-2 win.
Reuters contributed to this report