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's sensational doubles form in the two year period leading up to the Games, along with his formidable partner Jonathen Erlich, landed him a spot in Israel's tennis team for the 2004 Athens Olympics. He was catapulted to the top of world tennis by his performance at Wimbledon in 2003. Andy took Athens just as seriously as Wimbledon, and said: "we are one of the best doubles duos in the world, and there is no reason for us not to succeed in the Olympics."
Ram turned professional in 1996 at the age of 16, but did not compete in a Grand Slam tournament until 2001. His reputation was made in Wimbledon 2003, when Andy 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). Ram and Erlich won the Thailand Open in September and the Lyon tournament on October 12, 2003 and thus began a series of tournament victories. They won first place in Indianapolis, Istanbul, India, Rotterdam and Milan. At his peak Ram was ranked 19th in the world (April, 2004) and is ranked 27th as of August 9, 2004.
Birth and Death Dates:
b. April 10, 1980
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