Israelis eliminated at Australian Open

By Dan Goldberg, January 27, 2010
Yoni Erlich

Yoni Erlich

Israel's flag was lowered at the Australian Open on Wednesday as its last two competitors crashed out of the first Grand Slam tournament of the year.

Yoni Erlich and his doubles partner blew two match points in their men’s doubles quarter-final, bowing out in three sets to the No. 2 seeds, 4-6, 6-1, 6-7.

Erlich and France’s Arnaud Clement, who were unseeded, had one match point at 5-3 in the third set and one in the subsequent tie-breaker at 6-5 against Daniel Nestor from Spain and Nenad Zimonjic from Serbia.

Clement also served for the match at 5-4 in the third set, but he and Erlich were broken, and then lost 8-6 in the final set tie-breaker after one hour and 54 minutes.

Later in the day, Erlich’s former doubles partner, Andy Ram, with whom he won the 2008 doubles title here, also joined him in the departure lounge after crashing out in the quarter-finals of the mixed doubles.

Ram and his partner, Elena Vesnina, went down in straight sets against top seeds Leander Paes from India and Cara Black from Zimbabwe, 4-6, 3-6.

The No. 8 seeds saved one set point at 5-4 but could not survive the second set point, losing the first set 6-4. In the second set, the Uruguay-born Israeli and his partner were broken early and lost the match when Ram double-faulted at 3-5 after one hour and 14 minutes.

Last updated: 10:18am, January 27 2010