Born in Argentina, Erlich moved to Haifa, and currently competes as an Israeli. At the 2003 Wimbledon tournament, Erlich and partner Andy Ram advanced through the qualifying tournament to reach the semifinals in men's doubles before losing to No. 4 seeded (and defending Wimbledon champions) Jonas Bjorkman and Todd Woodbridge.
Following their success at Wimbledon, Erlich and Ram's world ranking soared. Then, in late September, 2003, they won their first doubles title (as a team) on the ATP tour by capturing the Thailand Open. On October 13, they won their second doubles title in three weeks by capturing the Grand Prix de Lyon. As of July 8, 2004, Erlich was ranked No. 25 in the world in doubles and 624 in singles play.
Erlich, who was born in Argentina and now resides in Haifa, is one of Israel's brightest up-and-coming tennis players. Since turning pro in 1993, Erlich has one career doubles title. In 2001, he competed in doubles at the Australian Open and at Wimbledon, losing in the first round in Australia and in the second round at Wimbledon.
Jonathan participated in the 2002 Australian Open in the doubles event with partner Andy Ram. They were eliminated from the competition after losing to Australians Andrew Florent and David MacPherson in the first round, 5-7, 3-6. Erlich also competed in the other two Grand Slam events during 2002. With Argentine partner Daniel Orsanic, Jonathan played in the doubles competition at both the French Open and Wimbledon, losing in the first round of each tournament.
In 2003, in the first round of the men's doubles at Wimbledon, Erlich and Ram defeated Nathan Healey and David Skoch in five sets (4-6, 7-5, 4-6, 6-3, and 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; and in the quarterfinals, in a match that saw no service break from either side, Erlich and Ram defeated No. 2 seeded Mark Knowles and Daniel Nestor in straight sets, 7-6 (10-8), 7-6 (7-2), 7-6 (9-7).
Erlich and Ram paired up again for the 2003 U.S. Open, but were knocked out in the first round, losing to Jim Thomas and Sebastian Prieto, 6-1, 1-6, 6-1. The Ram-Erlich duo solidified their status among the top doubles teams on the circuit, however, by winning the Lyon tournament on October 12, 2003 and defeating the French team of Julien Benneteau and Nicolas Mahut, 6-1, 6-3 in the final.
Erlich opened 2004 well as he advanced to the second round of the Australian Open. He and partner Andy Ram were ranked No. 14 and defeated Spanish duo Juan Carlos Ferrero and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 2-6, 6-4, 6-3 in the first round. In the next round, however, they fell to Gaston Gaudio and Ivo Karlovic 3-6, 7-5, 6-3. He had much better luck in the mixed doubles tournament so far. Along with partner Liezel Huber of South Africa, he defeated Jordan Kerr and Nicole Pratt 7-5, 7-6 (7-5) in the first round. Wayne Black and Cara Black gave them quite a scare in the second round, but the duo came through on a 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 (7-5) score. Erlich and Huber have advanced to the semifinals by beating the top seeded team of Mark Knowles and Virginia Ruano Pascual 6-7 (6-8), 6-3, 7-6 (7-5) in the quarter-finals. Erlich and his partner finally fell to the fourth seeded pair Leander Paes and Martina Navratilova in the semifinals by a 6-4, 6-4 score on January 30th, 2004.
Erlich and Andy Ram beat David Skoch and Jim Thomas 1-6, 6-3, 8-6 in the first round of the 2004 Roland Garros tournament. In the second round they met two excellent singles players, Arnaud Clement and Nicolas Escude, and defeated them 6-3, 6-7, 8-6. The seventh seated duo of Wayne Black and Kevin Ullyett from Zimbabwe, however, proved too high a hurdle as Ram and Erlich lost 6-2, 6-4.
Erlich was knocked out in the first round of the mens doubles event at the Wimbledon 2004 tournament. He fared better alongside South African Liezel Huber in the mixed event. After a bye through the first round, the duo beat Marcin Matkowski of Poland and American Mashona Washington 6-3, 6-7, 9-7. They were eliminated in the third round by Paul Hanley and Ai Sugiyama 6-4, 6-4.
In 2008, Andy Ram and Yoni Erlich became the first Israeli doubles tennis team to win a Grand Slam tennis title. The pair, seeded eighth, defeated the seventh-seeded French duo, Arnaud Clement and Michael Llorda in the Australian Open in Melbourne.
Source: Jews in Sports, JTA (January 27, 2008)