Tennis

Cool Dudi in bid to end Israeli drought on clay

By Simon Griver, May 21, 2009

Dudi Sela goes into Monday’s French Open boosted by the news that he has risen to a career high ranking of 55. But the 24-year-old Israeli will not be encouraged by his form on clay as his preparations for Roland Garros ended prematurely with a first-round defeat at the Austrian Open.

Playing on his least favourite surface, Sela hopes to improve on his last two performances in Paris when he has failed to progress beyond the first round.

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Ram takes it to the Max

By Simon Griver, May 14, 2009

Israel’s most successful sporting partnership has split up. Andy Ram and Jonathan Erlich have won 13 titles culminating in last year’s Australian Open but Ram has decided to stay with new partner Max Mirnyi rather than reunite with Erlich who recently returned from an eight-month injury absence.

Ram said: “Yoni thought I should be there for him regardless, but I don’t see why I should give up all the money, prizes and points in the middle of the season when we wouldn’t stand a chance.”

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Ram and Erlich reach last eight in Israel

By Simon Griver, May 7, 2009

Andy Ram and Jonathan Erlich reached the quarter final of the Israel Open with a 4-6, 6-1, 10-8 victory over Simon Stadler and Amir Hadad.

The pairing had not played together since Erlich injured his elbow last August.

Ram and Erlich agreed that Ram will continue playing part of the time with his new partner Max Mirnyi of Belarus and partly with Ram ahead of Israel's quarter-final Davis Cup tie at home to Russia in July.

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Ground-breaking Peer kept in check in Morocco

By Simon Griver, April 30, 2009

Shahar Peer (53) became the first Israeli to play in Morocco when she beat Aravane Rezai (95) in the first round of the SAR tournament in Fes.

Seeded eight, Peer lost her second round clash against Czech Lucie Hradecka (91).

Tournament organisers rejected Peer’s request not to play on Remembrance Day for Israel’s fallen soldiers on the grounds that her first round match had already been put back a day to accommodate her late arrival from Estonia.

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Peer will go to Morocco

By Simon Griver, April 23, 2009

Shahar Peer will represent Israel in the Federation Cup World Group II playoff in Estonia this weekend before flying to Fes where she will become the first ever Israeli to play in Morocco.

Defeat for Israel in Estonia, after they narrowly lost to Ukraine earlier this year, will result in relegation to the European regional zone. Estonia will be strong favourites with Kaia Kanepi (19) and Ani Maret (111) high ranked than Peer (53) and Tzipi Obziler (228).

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Barclays Bank shareholders’ visa ban revolt

By Marcus Dysch, April 14, 2009

Barclays’ sponsorship of a tennis tournament from which Israel’s top woman player was barred will be criticised at the bank’s annual meeting next week.

Some shareholders are angry that the bank continues to lend its name to the Dubai Tennis Championships, following the refusal of the United Arab Emirates to grant a visa to Shahar Peer to compete in the 2009 event in February. The decision prompted the Wall Street Journal Europe to withdraw its sponsorship and the Tennis Channel to cancel coverage.

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Mirnyi helps Ram to win his 16th title

April 7, 2009

Andy Ram and Max Mirnyi won the Sony Eriksson Miami Open. It was Ram’s 16th doubles title and his second with Mirnyi.

The International Tennis Federation has fined Sweden $40,000 for playing last month’s Davis Cup tie with Israel behind closed doors and Malmo has been banned from hosting games for five years. The ITF did not accept the Swede’s claim that spectators had to be barred for security reasons. Israel won and play Russia in the World Group quarter final.

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Israel turns up the heat on Russians

By Simon Griver, March 19, 2009

A major row has erupted in Israel over the venue for July’s Davis Cup quarter-final against Russia.

The Israel Tennis Federation wants to stage the tie at Maccabi Tel Aviv’s Nokia Arena rather than at the Ramat Hasharon tennis centre. The basketball arena can seat nearly 12,000, double the capacity of Ramat Hasharon.

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Israel loves Swede smell of success

By Simon Griver, March 12, 2009

Israel will host Russia in the quarter-finals of the Davis Cup World Group in July after claiming a stunning 3-2 victory over Sweden in a controversial clash in Malmo.

In a decision that angered Swedish public opinion and the International Tennis Federation — and made Israel all the more determined to succeed — Malmo City Council banned spectators claiming that it could not secure the venue.

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Protests mar Israel’s Davis Cup joy

By James Martin, March 9, 2009

Israel has advanced to the quarter-finals of tennis’s most prestigious national team cup in a match that was overshadowed by violent political protests.

Israel’s joy at beating Sweden 3-2 and earning a tie with Russia in July, was tempered by the fact that violence erupted outside Malmo’s Baltic Arena during Saturday’s doubles match.

Riots outside the stadium saw rock-throwing protesters attempt to storm into the arena, with Swedish police forced to apprehend around 100 protesters.

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