Ram, Andy : Jews In Sports @ Virtual Museum

Ram, Andy

Born in Uruguay, Ram lives in Jerusalem and competes as an Israeli. At Wimbledon in 2003, Ram was one of the most successful players in the tournament, reaching the semifinals in men's doubles and the final in mixed doubles (the first Israeli to advance to a Wimbledon final). His success in England helped his world ranking and as of July 8, 2005, (his career-best is at No. 19) he is ranked 27 in the world in men's doubles and is ranked 415 in singles.

In 2003, Ram and partner Jonathan Erlich became one of the best doubles teams in the world. Following their success at Wimbledon, they won their first doubles title (as a team) on the ATP tour in late September by capturing the Thailand Open. Earlier in the year, Ram had won the doubles title at the RCA Championship with Croatian Mario Ancic. Then, on October 13, 2002, Ram and Erlich won their second doubles title in three weeks by capturing the Grand Prix de Lyon.

Birth and Death Dates:
b. April 10, 1980

Career Highlights:
Ram turned professional in 1996 at the age of 16, but did not compete in a Grand Slam tournament until 2001. That year, he competed at Wimbledon in the doubles event with partner Jonathan Erlich. They reached the second round before losing to No. 13 seed Roger Federer (Switzerland), and Wayne Ferreira (South Africa). Ram then competed in the U.S. Open with Dejan Petrovic of Austria as his partner; they were eliminated in the first round.

In 2003, Ram and fellow Israeli Jonathan Erlich, advanced through Wimbledon's qualifying tournament in men's doubles and defeated three seeded opponents en route to the semifinals. In the semi's, Ram and Erlich -- the first Israelis to ever advance to the semifinals in any Grand Slam event --lost to the defending Wimbledon champions, Jonas Bjorkman and Todd Woodbridge.

Ram also played in the mixed doubles competition with Anastassia Rodionova of Russia. They advanced to the final, where they lost to Leander Paes and 46-year-old Martina Navratilova (who won her 20th Wimbledon title). In the first round, the partners defeated David Sherwood and Lucie Ahl, 6-2 and 6-2. In the second round, Ram and Rodionova pulled off a huge upset by defeating the No. 3 seeded Bob Bryan and Elena Likhovtseva, 7-5, 6-7 (4-7), and 6-4. After a three-set victory over Stephen Huss and Nan Miyagi in the third round, Ram and Rodionova defeated Scott Humphries and Elena Bovina in the quarterfinals and Jordan Kerr and Milagros Sequera in the semifinals.

In the first round of the men's doubles, Erlich and Ram defeated Nathan Healey and David Skoch in five sets (4-6, 7-5, 4-6, 6-3, an 6-4). In the second round, the Israeli duo upset No. 12 seed Frantisek Cermak and Leos Friedl of the Czech Republic in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3, and 6-3. They then defeated No.6 seeded Michael Llodra and Fabrice Santoro in the third round. In the quarterfinals, in a match that saw no service break from either side, Ram and Erlich defeated No. 2 seeded Mark Knowles and Daniel Nestor in straight sets -- 7-6 (10-8), 7-6 (7-2), 7-6 (9-7).

Following the tournament, Ram said, "What I've been through in the last two weeks has been incredible...The reason I enjoyed myself so much in the mixed doubles is that you can be more relaxed and I also had a fun partner. Being on Center Court on the closing day of Wimbledon is the dream of any tennis player and I tried to enjoy every minute."

At the 2003 U.S. Open, Ram and Erlich were again partnered in men's doubles. They went out in the first round losing, 6-1, 1-6, 6-1, to Sebastian Prieto and Jim Thomas. Ram also played in the men's singles qualifying, but he lost to Giorgio Galimberti in three sets (7-5, 6-7, 3-6). The Ram-Erlich duo solidified their status among the top doubbles teams on the circuit, winning the Lyon tournament on October 12, 2003. They defeated the French team of Julien Benneteau and Nicolas Mahut, 6-1, 6-3 in the final.

At the 2004 Australian Open, Ram and Erlich advanced to the second round after beating Juan Carlos Ferrero and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 2-6, 6-4, 6-3 in the first round. The duo were ranked 14th in the tournament, but lost 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 in the second round to Gaston Gaudio and Ivo Karlovic. In the mixed doubles competition, Ram and partner Petra Mandula of Hungary were eliminated in the second round.

Ram teamed up with his old partner Jonathan Erlich for the mens doubles event at the 2004 Roland Garros. They defeated David Skoch and Jim Thomas 1-6, 6-3, 8-6 in the first round. In the second round they met two excellent singles players, Arnaud Clement and Nicolas Escude and defeated them 6-3, 6-7, 8-6. However, the seventh seeded duo of Wayne Black and Kevin Ullyett from Zimbabwe proved too high a hurdle as Ram and Erlich lost 6-2, 6-4. The Uruguayan born player also competed in the mixed doubles event. Ram and partner Petra Mandula of Hungary defeated Janette Husarova and Leos Friedl 6-4, 5-7, 6-3 in the first round. The new and successful pairing went on to beat Els Callens and Sebastian Prieto in the second round 7-5, 4-6, 6-3. They faced Daniela Hantuchova and doubles ace Todd Woodbridge in the quarterfinals, losing 6-3,6-4.

Wimbledon 2004 started badly for the doubles ace, as he lost 3-6 5-7 6-7(10) to Romanian Andrei Pavel in the first round of the singles tournament. Surprisingly he did no better in the doubles as Ram and Erlich were unceremoniously dumped in the first round. In the mixed doubles event, Andy teamed up with Russian youngster Anastassia Rodionova. They easily dispensed of Dominik Hrbaty and Henrieta Nagyova 6-3, 6-4 in the first round. Mariano Hood and Maria Vento-Kabchi were also beaten without dropping a set 6-4, 6-4. The threatening duo of singles stars Rainer Schuettler and Barbara Schett provided too great a challenge in the third round as Ram and Rodionova fell 6-7, 6-3, 4-6.

Ram and Erlich were considered among the favorites in the 2004 Olympic doubles event, as they were ranked 8th overall. They did well in the first round, defeating Thomas Enqvist and Robin Soderling of Sweden 7-5, 6-3 on August 16. The duo were favored to beat Russians Igor Andreev and Nikolay Davydenko in the second round. The Russians broke Ram and Erlich's serve in the very first game, but the Israeli's recovered to win in two sets 6-4, 6-1. The Israeli duo played Germans Nicolas Kiefer and Rainer Schuettler in the quarterfinals and started well. Ram and Erlich broke the Teutonic serve at 3-2 in the first set and again at 5-2. However after an excellent first set, the Israeli's were dominated by Kiefer and Schuettler. Ram and Erlich were eliminated in three sets 6-2, 2-6, 2-6.

Ram and Erlich were triumphant yet again in the Lyon International Series tournament held in October, 2004. They defeated Gaston Etlis Martin Rodriguez and Frenchmen Julien Benneteau and Nicolas Mahut in the early rounds. The Israeli duo had a tough time of it, but ultimately triumphed against Mahesh Bhupathi and Max Mirnyi 6-7(3), 6-3, 6-4 in the semi's. They had the misfortune of facing off against Jonas Bjorkman and Radek Stepanek in the final, but took the silverware with a 7-6(2), 6-2 victory.

Ram and Erlich were seeded 13th in the 2005 Australian Open. The duo beat Lars Burgsmuller and Philipp Kohlschreiber 7-6 (7-1), 6-2 in the first round. Hyung Taik Lee and Jarkko Nieminen awarded the duo with a walkover after Nieminen was diagnosed with an injury. Ram and Erlich's third round match against Bob and Mike Bryan (seeded second) turned into an epic. The Israeli's lost 1-6, 6-4, 6-7 (8-10). Andy paired up with Conchita Martinez of Spain in the mixed doubles event. The twosome beat Sebastian Prieto Argentines Gisela Dulko in the first round 5-7, 7-6 (10-8), 7-6 (10-6) in a nerve wracking match. The duo pulled off a major upset by defeating eighth seeds Leos Friedl and Janette Husarova 6-7 (4-7), 6-1, 7-6 (10-6) in the second round. The match was held in a blistering 95 degree heat spell. Martinez and Ram pulled off an even more impressive coup in the quarterfinals of the mixed doubles event. In an intense battle, the team beat top seeds Daniel Nestor and Rennae Stubbs 7-5, 6-7 (3-7), 7-6 (14-12). Andy and partner fell in the semifinals to Aussie pair Scott Draper and Samantha Stosur 7-5, 6-3.

Ram and partner won their fourth major tournament in Rotterdam in February, 2005. They beat Ivan Ljubicic and Uros Vico 6-4, 6-2 in the round of sixteen. In the quarterfinals, the Israeli pair faced up with Feliciano Lopez and Fernando Verdasco of Spain, and came out on top 4-6, 7-6(2), 6-4. The semifinal against Zimbabwean duo Wayne Black and Kevin Ullyett was settled with a ferociously competitive second set 6-3 7-6(11). Ram and Erlich had to beat Czech's Cyril Suk and Pavel Vizner 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, for the honors.

Ram and Erlich missed the 2005 Roland Garros grand slam tournament. Andy Ram's father had passed away as the player was preparing to fly to France.

After the disappointment in not attending the French Open, Ram and Erlich were seeded 15th in Wimbledon 2005. In the first round the duo defeated home-crowd favorites Jamie Delgado and Arvind Parmar 6-4, 6-7(7-5), 6-4, 6-2. They were awarded a walkover when Swedes Johan Landsberg and Robin Soderling abandoned play in the second round. The third round saw Ram and Erlich knocked out by Americans Bob and Mike Bryan (seeded 2nd) with a 6-3, 7-6 (7-0), 6-3 defeat. Andy Ram and Conchita Martinez were seeded 16th in the Wimbledon mixed doubles competition and therefore received a bye into the second round. In the subsequent round they were awarded a walkover against Cyril Suk and Jelena Jankovic , thereby reaching the third round without playing a single match. They faced Kevin Ullyett and Liezel Huber in the quarterfinals were they were eliminated 6-4, 3-6, 8-6.


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