Andy Ram and Jonathan Erlich described their first round victory in the men’s doubles as their finest hour after completing a stunning comeback in a match played over two days, writes Danny Caro.
An upset looked on the cards when the third seeds lost the first two sets 6-4 against Americans David Martin and Scott Lipsky on Monday.
Erlich revealed how “a toilet break” after the second set helped him refocus. The Israelis went on to win the next two sets before the decider was locked at eight games all when play was suspended due to bad light on a packed court 15.
They returned on Tuesday to wrap up the fifth 10-8. “That was the our best ever win,” Erlich confided. “We have never been two sets down before and it was our best comeback. The victory was all about showing great mental strength and spirit.”
Having won the Australian Open in January, Ram believes their matches are getting tougher. “We are now favourites in every game and believe we can win every tournament,” he said. “But our opponents are more hungry. Having won one Grand Slam everyone wants to beat us.”
A deflated Lipsky, who is also Jewish, tipped the Israelis to win the event. “I played against them at the Australian Open so we knew we could compete. I believe that had the match been completed on the first day we would have won as the momentum was coming back to us.”
At Wimbledon for the second consecutive year, Lipsky says that his religious ties have diluted following the death of his father in 2001. He believes “it’s good to see Jewish athletes out there as there’s not that many around. It’s a shame we were drawn together in the first round but it was a fun match to play in.”
He has decided to concentrate on his doubles career, explaining: “I’ve stopped playing singles as I never got close to the top 100 which is where I wanted to be.”