Olympic hopes boosted by tennis doubles addition

By Simon Griver, December 17, 2009

Israel’s hopes of winning an Olympic medal in 2012 have been boosted by the IOC’s decision to introduce a mixed doubles tennis tournament.

Doubles specialist and grand slam winner Andy Ram said that he was looking forward to teaming up with Shahar Peer in London.

“I have never partnered Shahar but I’m sure we can be successful. I’ve enjoyed a lot of achievements in mixed doubles including two grand slam titles.”

Peer also greeted the news with enthusiasm. She said: “This is a great development. It will be a privilege to represent Israel at the London Olympics and the mixed doubles provides us with a marvellous opportunity to win a medal.”

The 2012 tournament will be played at Wimbledon where Ram has already tasted glory, winning the 2006 mixed doubles title with Vera Zvonareva. He also won the French Open mixed doubles with Nathalie Dechy in 2007. He was the beaten finalist in the mixed doubles at Wimbledon in 2003 and the Australian Open this year.

Last month Ram and his Belarus partner Max Mirnyi were beaten finalists in the ATP Masters tournament at the 02 arena for the world’s best doubles teams. Ram hopes to renew his partnership with Jonathan Erlich who has recovered from injury for next month’s Australian Open.

Last updated: 4:57pm, December 17 2009