Hot Ram wins again

By Simon Griver, October 30, 2008
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Tennis Andy Ram, Israel's most successful player, claimed his 15th title after pairing up with Frenchman Michael Llodra to win the men's doubles at the Lyon Grand Prix.

The victory was Ram's second in three weeks after winning the Vienna Trophy with Max Mirnyi of Belarus. Next week, he will team up with Brazilian Bruno Soares at the Paris Masters.

Fellow Israeli Jonathan Erlich, his regular partner, this week returned to full training in a bid to get fit for the end of season Shanghai Masters for the world's top eight doubles seeds starting November 10.
Erlich, 31, has been sidelined with an injured elbow for two months but dismissed rumours that he is contemplating retirement.

"I love tennis and love playing tennis and still feel I have a lot of goals to achieve, even though we are ranked number three in the world," he said. "I can't wait to get back. I'll certainly be there with Andy in Melbourne in January defending our Australian Open title.

"These past few months have been difficult but it's made me very happy to see Andy doing so well without me."

Ram is only eligible to play in Shanghai with Erlich and the Israeli pair have a major financial incentive to be in China with appearance fees of $25,000 each and $7,500 for every victory.

Shahar Peer has appointed the Peruvian Pablo Giacopelli as her new coach, her third of the year. Peer has had a disastrous year slipping from 19 to 38 in the WTA rankings.

Dudi Sela (86) has withdrawn from the remaining tournaments this year through tiredness.

    Last updated: 3:08pm, October 30 2008