Israeli Duo Wins TennisIsraeli doubles stars Andy Ram and Yoni Erlich have done it again by winning the men’s doubles championship at the 2008 Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells California. Ram and Erlich, virtually repeated their Australian Open feat by winning in straight sets over Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic 6-4, 6-4 to achieve their second important Masters tennis title so far this year. When interviewed afterwards, Ram said that he and Erlich have been concentrating more on improving their game concentration, and that they “have been playing very solid tennis since last summer”.

“We are concentrating more on improving our game, match by match, and giving 100% concentration, rather than trying to win titles”, Erlich added.

The two Israelis are feeling more confident and this is apparently evident in their game performance.

The tournament, also known to many as the Indian Wells Tourney, saw a number of surprises in semi-finals individual matches on Friday, when American No. 1 ace Ron Federer was beaten by another American, Mardy Fish. Another star, Russian Maria Sharapova, was beaten by fellow Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova. Coming into this match, Sharapova had 18 straight wins to her credit.

Mardy Fish, who was beaten by Federer at the same tournament four years ago, was ranked number 98 going into this tournament, and if he wins the championship Sunday will regain much ground he has lost since being ranked number 17 four years ago.

As for Ram and Erlich, they are now in a very good position for advancing in world rankings, and are considered by many as the top male doubles team in professional tennis.

Israel’s female star, Shahar Peer, lost out to Indian female tennis star Sania Mirza in the third round of the competition. Mirza has dominated in previous encounters against the18th ranked Israeli player.

Israeli athletes are making good gains in both amateur and professional competitions, and this is especially so in sports like tennis. It only goes to show that Israelis are capable in holding their own against other players, and hopefully, they will perform as well in singles tennis competitions as they do in doubles matches.