November 5 2007

Erlich/Ram Replace Bryans in Tennis Masters Cup Field

Jonathan Erlich (left) and Andy Ram
© Getty Images

Shanghai, China – Israelis Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram were elevated from their alternate status to a playing berth at the prestigious Tennis Masters Cup-to be held at Shanghai's Qi Zhong Stadium from November 11-18-after an elbow injury has prevented the No. 1 duo of Bob and Mike Bryan from making the trip to Shanghai for the third consecutive year.

"I am extremely disappointed that I won't be able to compete in the Tennis Masters Cup this year," said Mike Bryan. "Unfortunately I have had a problem with my elbow for the past couple of weeks and it hasn't recovered in time to be ready for the tournament.

"Bob and I were really looking forward to coming to Shanghai to play in front of all our fans, who are some of the most enthusiastic in the world. We hope to back next year."

The 29-year-old American twins, who clinched the year-end No. 1 Stanford ATP Doubles Ranking in September, were looking to capture their third Tennis Masters Cup title after winning back-to-back crowns in 2003 and 2004 in Houston. They clinched their career-best 11th title of the season on Sunday at the BNP Paribas Masters.

Erlich and Ram, who finished at No. 9 in the Stanford ATP Doubles Race, will be making their second appearance at the Tennis Masters Cup after making their debut last year. They went 1-2 in round robin play with their sole victory coming against the Bryans.

The duo excelled on North American hard courts in 2007, clinching their first career ATP Masters Series shield by defeating the top-seeded Bryans in the Cincinnati title match and reaching back-to-back finals in Las Vegas and ATP Masters Series Indian Wells early in the season. They also helped Israel attain Davis Cup World Group status for the first time in 13 years, prevailing over Fernando Gonzalez and Nicolas Massu in a 10-8 fifth set of the doubles rubber in September's playoff against Chile.

The other teams rounding out the elite eight-team field include Mark Knowles and Daniel Nestor, Paul Hanley and Kevin Ullyett, Simon Aspelin and Julian Knowle, Martin Damm and Leander Paes, Lukas Dlouhy and Pavel Vizner. Wimbledon champion Arnaud Clement and Michael Llodra qualified for the Tennis Masters Cup as Grand Slam winners, who finished within the Top 20 of the Stanford ATP Doubles Race.


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