Israeli duo double up
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Harel Levy and Noam Okun will focus on their doubles partnership when the 2009 season starts next month.
The Israelis, both aged 30, have been unable to rediscover the singles form which saw Levy ranked 30 in 2001 and Okun reach 95 in 2002. Levy currently 248, and Okun, 430, will jettison their singles careers in favour of doubles success as they look to emulate their compatriots Andy Ram and Jonathan Erlich, who won the Australian Open doubles title earlier this year and have each amassed more than $1.5 million in prize money.
Erlich will not be able to defend his Grand Slam title after undergoing surgery on his elbow. Ram will instead partner Max Miryani of Belarus, with whom he won the Vienna Trophy in October. Erlich has been sidelined since September during which time the Israeli duo have slipped down from third to fifth in the ATP doubles rankings.
Dudi Sela has dropped to 112 in the world singles rankings and is now unlikely to gain automatic qualification for the Australian Open.